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Utility of fiberoptic bronchoscopy before bronchial artery embolization for massive hemoptysis

E I Hsiao, C M Kirsch, F T Kagawa, J H Wehner, W A Jensen, R B Baxter
AJR. American Journal of Roentgenology 2001, 177 (4): 861-7
11566690

OBJECTIVE: We wanted to investigate the utility of performing fiberoptic bronchoscopy before bronchial artery embolization in patients with massive hemoptysis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the cases of all patients with hemoptysis who had presented at either of two local hospitals, one county hospital and one community hospital, between 1988 and 2000 and who had undergone fiberoptic bronchoscopy before bronchial arteriography. All data were abstracted using a standardized coding form, and radiographs were independently reviewed by two of the authors.

RESULTS: Twenty-nine patients meeting the inclusion criteria were identified; one patient was excluded because of missing radiographs. The remaining 28 patients consisted of 19 men and nine women, with an average age of 54.6 years (age range, 16-91 years). The clinically determined diagnoses of their symptoms were tuberculous bronchiectasis (n = 14; 50.0%); bronchogenic carcinoma (n = 4; 14.3%); active tuberculosis (n = 2; 7.1%); nontuberculous bronchiectasis (n = 2; 7.1%); active coccidioidomycosis, pancreaticobronchial fistula, arteriovenous malformation, and tetralogy of fallot (n =1 each; 3.6% each); and unknown cause (n = 2; 7.1%). The bleeding site determined through bronchoscopy was consistent with that determined through radiographs in 23 patients (82.1%); all had either unilateral disease (n = 15), bilateral disease with unilateral cavities (n = 5), or a preponderance of disease on one side (n = 3). Bronchoscopy was an essential tool in determining the bleeding site in only three patients (10.7%), all of whom had bronchiectasis without localizing features visible on chest radiographs. In the remaining two patients (7.1%), bronchoscopic findings were indeterminate, but radiographs were helpful.

CONCLUSION: Fiberoptic bronchoscopy before bronchial artery embolization is unnecessary in patients with hemoptysis of known causation if the site of bleeding can be determined from radiographs and no bronchoscopic airways management is needed.

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