Topography Of The Lungs (Posterior View)
The apex of the lung extends as far superiorly as the vertebral end of the ﬁrst rib and therefore as high as the ﬁrst thoracic vertebra. From there, the lung extends inferiorly as far as the diaphragm, with the base of the lung resting on the diaphragm and ﬁtted to its superior surface. Because of the diaphragm’s domed shape, the level of the highest point on the base of the right lung is about at the eighth to ninth thoracic vertebrae. The highest point on the base of the left lung is a fraction of an inch lower. From these high points, the bases of the two lungs follow the curves of the diaphragm to reach the levels described earlier for the inferior borders of the lungs.