The hilum is an is an anatomically defined area located in the center of the chest and visible on a chest X-ray. There is a right and a left hilum. The structures within the hilum are major bronchi, pulmonary blood vessels and lymph nodes. The hilar lymph nodes are normally not visible on the plain chest X-ray but can be seen, when enlarged in response to a wide range of disease. Enlargement of any of the bronchi, blood vessels or nodes is often described as “prominent”, when it is not clear which structure is enlarged. There is a wide range of normal and when the enlargement is subtle, radiologists may differ on whether there is or is not prominence. The structures responsible for the prominence can be clarified by a CT Scan.
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