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A branch of the thoracic aorta or the upper intercostal arteries; usually there are two left bronchial arteries and one right bronchial artery. The bronchial arteries follow the arborization of the bronchial tree and supply oxygenated blood to the walls of the bronchi and bronchioles and to the connective tissue of the lungs. The first branches of the bronchial arteries include small arteries to the esophagus, pericardium, and mediastinum.See: aorta for illus.
See also: artery