The lungs have three main fissures: in the right lung, the oblique and horizontal fissure, and in the left lung the oblique fissure. These can be complete, incomplete or absent. “Classical anatomy” textbooks frequently describe pulmonary fissures as complete, although knowledge of their variations is important both for thoracic surgery and to understand the spread of disease. The objective of this study is to assess the frequency and extension of the main pulmonary fissures, as well as to determine the frequency and location of accessory fissures in cadaveric material.
An observational descriptive study was carried out and consisted of the dissection of 86 ex-situ lungs (43 right and 43 left lungs) of adult corpses from both sexes previously fixed in formaldehyde solution. The presence of complete, incomplete or absent main fissures and the presence of accessory fissures were assessed. For incomplete fissures, the integrity percentage of the fissure was calculated.
In both lungs, incomplete fissures predominated; the oblique fissure of the right lung with a percentage of 65%, the horizontal fissure of 79% and the oblique fissure of the left lung of 58%. Regarding accessory fissures, the overall prevalence was 6%.
The anatomy of pulmonary fissures is highly variable. In our study, incomplete fissures predominated in both lungs. There are differences between the studies regarding the prevalence of the completeness of the fissures because, actually, the literature is not concluding.