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The Pleural Membranes

What is the function of the pleural membranes? The pleural membranes enclose a fluid-filled space surrounding the lungs. The membranes and associated fluid serve to protect the lungs and to provide lubrication. Lung tissue is delicate and easily damaged compared to muscle, bone, or connective tissue. Protecting the lungs from damaging interactions with other tissues is important. The lungs are also constantly expanding and contracting. The pleural membranes and fluid allow the lungs to easily move within the body cavity with minimal friction from other organs.

View the animation below, then complete the quiz to test your knowledge of the concept.






1The layer of the pleural membrane that is attached to the surface of the lung is the...
A)parietal pleura.
B)visceral pleura.
C)intrapleural fluid.
D)pleural cavity.
E)thoracic pleura.



2The outermost layer of the pleural membrane is the...
A)parietal pleura.
B)visceral pleura.
C)intrapleural fluid.
D)pleural cavity.
E)thoracic pleura.



3The fluid filled area between the pleural layers is the...
A)parietal pleura.
B)visceral pleura.
C)intrapleural fluid.
D)pleural cavity.
E)thoracic pleura.



4The pleural membranes function like a fluid filled balloon that completely surrounds the heart.
A)True
B)False



5The pleural membranes completely surround the each lung.
A)True
B)False







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