lung hila (anatomy)

Last reviewed 01/2018

The hila of the lungs are the areas of their central mediastinal surfaces where the structures of the lung roots enter. The order of structures surrounding and within each hilum mirrors the respective root, except that it is slightly more lateral.

The hila of the lungs correspond to:

  • anteriorly, the level of the 3rd-4th costal cartilage
  • posteriorly, the level of the T5-T7 vertebrae

One key difference between the hila is that:

  • on the right, the right superior lobe bronchus divides from the right principal bronchus before the right hilum
  • on the left side, the left principal bronchus does not divide until it has entered the hilum of the lung