Management of life-threatening hemoptysis.
It is estimated that 5-14% of patients presenting with hemoptysis will have life-threatening hemoptysis, with a reported mortality rate between 9 and 38%. This manuscript provides a comprehensive literature review on life-threatening hemoptysis, including the etiology and mechanisms, initial stabilization, and management of patients. There is no consensus on the optimal diagnostic approach to life-threatening hemoptysis, so we present a practical approach to utilizing chest radiography, computed tomography, and bronchoscopy, alone or in combination, to localize the bleeding site depending on patient stability. The role of angiography and embolization as well as bronchoscopic and surgical techniques for the management of life-threatening hemoptysis is reviewed. Through case presentation and flow diagram, an overview is provided on how to systematically evaluate and treat the bronchial arteries, which are responsible for hemoptysis in 90% of cases. Treatment options for recurrent hemoptysis and definitive management are discussed, highlighting the role of bronchial artery embolization for recurrent hemoptysis.
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