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In a series of 128 cases with bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy (BHL) studied during 1957-82 (investigated by a single author), 43 cases (34%) were due to sarcoidosis; tuberculosis was seen in 16 (12%) and lymphoma or malignancy in 17 (13%). Fourteen cases (11%) had a triad of BHL, erythema nodosum and arthralgia and sarcoidosis was diagnosed later in eight. Those having a pentad combination of arthralgia, hepatomegaly, respiratory symptoms. Fever and remarkable dissociation between gross changes in chest x-ray with BHL and scanty physical signs numbered 19 (15%). Most of triad and pentad cases were possible cases of sarcoidosis. In another 19 cases (15%) no diagnosis could be made possibly owing to prior steroid therapy. It is concluded that most cases of BHL in non-paediatric age-group in Eastern India are due to sarcoidosis.