Dense hilum sign

Last revised by Mostafa El-Feky on 11 Dec 2022

The dense hilum sign suggests a pathological process at the hilum or in the lung anterior or posterior to the hilum. Malignancy, especially lung cancer, should be suspected.

Radiographic features

On a well-centered chest posteroanterior (PA) radiograph the density of the hilum is comparable on both sides. In the absence of calcification or adenopathy, the hila should appear of equal density and be symmetric.

See also

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: right lung cancer
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  • Case 2: left lung cancer
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  • Case 3: right lung cancer
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  • Case 4: lung cancer on left
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  • Case 5: right hilar lung cancer
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  • Case 6: right hilar lymphadenopathy
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