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Lung parenchyma showing damage due to large subpleural bullae.

Parenchyma (/pəˈrɛŋkɪmə/)[1][2] is the bulk of functional substance in an animal organ.


The term "parenchyma" is New Latin from word Greek παρέγχυμα parenchyma, "visceral flesh" from παρενχεῖν parenkhein, "to pour in" from παρα- para-, "beside", ἐν en-, "in" and χεῖν khein, "to pour".[3]

Originally, Erasistratus and other anatomists used it to refer to certain human tissues.[4] Later, it was also applied to some plant tissues by Nehemiah Grew.[5]


The parenchyma is the functional parts of an organ in the body. This is in contrast to the stroma, which refers to the structural tissue of organs, namely, the connective tissues.

Brain parenchymaEdit

The brain parenchyma refers to the functional tissue in the brain that is made up of the two types of brain cell, neurons and glial cells.[6] Damage or trauma to the brain parenchyma often results in a loss of cognitive ability or even death.

Lung parenchymaEdit

Lung parenchyma is the substance of the lung outside of the circulation system that is involved with gas exchange and includes the alveoli and respiratory bronchioles,[7] though some authors only include the alveoli.[8]


  1. ^ "Parenchyma". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  2. ^ "Parenchyma". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  3. ^ LeMone, Priscilla; Burke, Karen; Dwyer, Trudy; Levett-Jones, Tracy; Moxham, Lorna; Reid-Searl, Kerry; Berry, Kamaree; Carville, Keryln; Hales, Majella; Knox, Nicole; Luxford, Yoni; Raymond, Debra (2013). "Parenchyma". Medical-Surgical Nursing. Pearson Australia. p. G–18. ISBN 978-1-4860-1440-8.
  4. ^ Virchow, R.L.K. (1863). Cellular pathology as based upon physiological and pathological histology [...] by Rudolf Virchow. Translated from the 2d ed. of the original by Frank Chance. With notes and numerous emendations, principally from MS. notes of the author. 1–562. [Cf. p. 339.] link.
  5. ^ Gager, C. S. 1915. The ballot for names for the exterior of the laboratory building, Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Rec. Brooklyn Bot. Gard. IV, p. 105–123. link.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Lung parenchyma". Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  8. ^ Suki, B (July 2011). "Lung parenchymal mechanics". Compr Physiol. 1: 1317–1351 – via PMID 23733644.

External linksEdit