Difference between Bronchi and Bronchioles

Main difference

The difference between bronchi and bronchioles is that bronchi are air passages to the lungs that begin at the end of the windpipe. While the bronchioles or bronchioles are the conductors through which the air passes through the nose or mouth to the alveoli of the lungs, in which the branches no longer contain cartilage or glands in their submucosa.

Bronchi versus bronchioles

The 24 hour long respiratory system is one of the most crucial systems in a living body, the tubes that run from the throat, larynx to trachea and others play a critical role in performing this process. The bronchi (plural of bronchi) and bronchioles are also two of the tubes; the latter is a smaller tube that runs from each bronchus (plural: bronchi) to the alveoli, which is the sac-like structure at the end of a long series of tubes. On the other hand, the bronchus (bronchi) runs from the trachea into each lung and then divides into several tubes, which then connect to a network of smaller tubes called bronchioles.There are two bronchi that branch from the trachea into each lung,

Comparative chart

Bronchi Bronchioles
Diameter More Less
Transport The bronchi carry air to the bronchioles. The bronchioles make air flow into the alveoli.
It consists of Cartilaginous layer Smooth muscles and elastic tissues lined with epithelium.
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What are the bronchi?

The bronchi are the pair of airways that carry air from the trachea and then pass it into multiple smaller tubes (bronchioles). There are two bronchi in the human body that branch from the windpipe to each lung. Air first traveled from the mouth or nose through the larynx and trachea, respectively, then enters the bronchi, which are also tube-like structures that divide into a network of tubes, ending with the bronchioles (tubes smaller), which connect the alveoli. The trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles collectively form the tracheobronchial system, which consists of three layers; mucosa, submucosa and fibrocartilaginous layer. There is no gas exchange in Bronchi; it only works as a passage to the lungs.

What are bronchioles?

The bronchioles are a set of smaller tubes that function as a passage between the bronchi and the alveoli. They can be divided into two types, respiratory bronchioles and non-respiratory bronchioles. Respiratory bronchioles allow air to pass through, while non-respiratory bronchioles can exchange gaseous material. At the end of the tracheobronchial system, the smallest tubes that connect it to the sac-like structures are the bronchioles. The cartilage does not support these smaller tubes as in the case of the bronchi; They are made up of smooth muscles and elastic tissues lined with epithelium.

Bronchi versus bronchioles

  • The bronchi are the longest tubes that extend from the windpipe, while the bronchioles are the smaller tubes or ducts that form when the bronchi divide multiple times.
  • The bronchi have a larger diameter than the bronchioles.
  • There are only two bronchi (1 bronchus), for multiple bronchioles in a human body.
  • The bronchi carry air to the bronchioles, while the bronchioles make air flow into the alveoli.
  • The bronchi are mainly made up of the cartilaginous layer, while the bronchioles are made up of smooth muscles and elastic tissues lined with epithelium.

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