In my book they describe root of the lung like this:
In the region of vertebrae TV to TVII, the mediastinal pleura refects off the mediastinum as a tubular, sleeve-like covering for structures (i.e., airway, vessels, nerves, lym-phatics) that pass between the lung and mediastinum. This sleeve-like covering, and the structures it contains, forms the root of the lung.

And hilum of the lung like this: The root joins the medial surface of the lung at an area referred to as the hilum of the lung. Here, the mediastinal pleura is continuous with the visceral pleura.

I dont see the difference between Root and hilum. Can somebody please help me out?


Short answer: Hilum is an area(has only 2 dimensions) where as root is a body( has 3 dimensions).

The root of lung is a short broad pedicle connecting the medial surface of the lung with the mediastinum. It consists of structures entering and leaving the lung at hilum. The root of lung is surrounded by a tubular sheath derived from the mediastinal pleura.


The hilum is the area on the mediastinal surface of the lung through which structures enter or leave the lung.

Source: pg no 239

Consider the following image( edited by myself):

If the cylinder is root of lung then lateral opening(blue) is hilum.

Taken from https://image.slidesharecdn.com/r-a-6-170509024427/95/anatomy-of-the-respiratory-system-6-27-638.jpg?cb=1498248177

The region bounded( within the limits of pleural membrane) by those two planes is root of lung and the area bounded by the lateral plane is hilum.

  • $\begingroup$ Any reason for downvote so I may improve? $\endgroup$ – JM97 Dec 22 '17 at 10:28
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't downvote, but I think you could mention which structures does the root consist of. $\endgroup$ – Jan Jan 10 '19 at 13:12

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