Pulmonary resection for massive hemoptysis of benign etiology

Adel Ayed
European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery 2003, 24 (5): 689-93

OBJECTIVE: To assess the outcome of pulmonary resection in the management of massive hemoptysis caused by benign lung diseases.

METHODS: A longitudinal cohort study of 53 consecutive patients who presented with hemoptysis and were treated with either emergency (group 1) or elective (group 2) pulmonary resection from January 1995 to December 1999.

RESULTS: Fifty-three patients were studied, 27 in group 1 and 26 in group 2. The mean age of the patients was 47.2 years (range, 29-70 years). Urgent examination with a combination of rigid and flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope localized the bleeding site in 45 patients (85%). Age>50 years, hypertension, hemoglobin on admission<10 g/dl, cause of hemoptysis, and a prior attack of hemoptysis were the predictors for the need of emergency surgery. The overall hospital mortality rate was 4% (2/53). Postoperative complications occurred in 13 patients (25%). Complications were more common in patients who received blood transfusion than non-transfused patients (9/23 and 4/30, respectively; P=0.03). Patients with tuberculosis as the cause of massive hemoptysis had more complications 5/8 in comparison to all other patients (P=0.02). The mean follow-up was 4.5 years (range, 3-6 years) for all patients who survived. Hemoptysis recurred in four patients (8%) and all from group 1 (P=0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: Immediate pulmonary resection for massive hemoptysis is effective in case of life-threatening bleeding that is not controlled by conservative measures. Elderly patients with a prior history of hemoptysis and/or hypertension and bleeding due to a fungus ball, necrotizing pneumonia, tuberculosis or lung abscess should be considered for early operation in an attempt to reduce morbidity and mortality.

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