Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Chest Imaging - Review

Diagnosis and management of hemoptysis


Department of Radiological Sciences, Gemelli Hospital, Catholic University, Rome, Italy


Bracco Diagnostics Inc., Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Diagn Interv Radiol 2014; 20: 299-309
DOI: 10.5152/dir.2014.13426
Read: 1672 Downloads: 741 Published: 03 September 2019


Hemoptysis is the expectoration of blood that originates from the lower respiratory tract. It is usually a self-limiting event but in fewer than 5% of cases it may be massive, representing a life-threatening condition that warrants urgent investigations and treatment. This article aims to provide a comprehensive literature review on hemoptysis, analyzing its causes and pathophysiologic mechanisms, and providing details about anatomy and imaging of systemic bronchial and nonbronchial arteries responsible for hemoptysis. Strengths and limits of chest radiography, bronchoscopy, multidetector computed tomography (MDCT), MDCT angiography and digital subtraction angiography to assess the cause and lead the treatment of hemoptysis were reported, with particular emphasis on MDCT angiography. Treatment options for recurrent or massive hemoptysis were summarized, highlighting the predominant role of bronchial artery embolization. Finally, a guide was proposed for managing massive and nonmassive hemoptysis, according to the most recent medical literature.

EISSN 1305-3612