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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Radiologic management of haemoptysis: diagnostic and interventional bronchial arterial embolisation

H Ittrich, H Klose, G Adam
RöFo: Fortschritte Auf Dem Gebiete der Röntgenstrahlen und der Nuklearmedizin 2015, 187 (4): 248-59
25372159

UNLABELLED: Hemoptysis can be a life-threatening pulmonary emergency with high mortality, is symptomatic of an underlying severe pulmonary disease and requires immediate diagnosis and treatment. Diagnostically, bronchoscopy, conventional chest x-ray and contrast-enhanced multislice computed tomography (MSCT) with CT angiography (CTA) provide information regarding the underlying pulmonary disease, bleeding site, the vascular anatomy of the bronchial arteries (BA) and extrabronchial branches, as well a basis for planning of endovascular intervention. Therapeutically, bronchial artery embolization (BAE) is a safe and effective technique in the hands of an experienced interventionist with profound knowledge of the BA anatomy and possible pitfalls as well as experience with first-line therapy of recurrent and massive hemoptysis or as an intervention prior to elective surgery. Recurrent episodes of hemoptysis are not uncommon and require a prompt repeat BAE after exclusion of extrabronchial systemic and pulmonary artery bleeding sources. This review article should give an overview of the history, anatomical and pathophysiological basics and the clinical context of hemoptysis and diagnosis, as well as a survey of management, treatment and results of BAE.

KEY POINTS: Hemoptyses are life threatening and require urgent diagnostic and therapy. Chest x-ray, bronchoscopy, and contrast-enhanced MSCT with CTA should be carried out before therapeutic bronchial artery embolization (BAE). BAE for the treatment of massive and recurrent hemoptysis is safe and effective. False embolization in spinal branches of BA are the most serious complication of a BAE. Repeatedly BAE refractory cases should undergo elective surgery.

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