Massive hemoptysis: control by transcatheter bronchial artery embolization

D J Magilligan, S Ravipati, P Zayat, P C Shetty, G Bower, P Kvale
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 1981, 32 (4): 392-400
Massive hemoptysis (600 ml in 48 hours) has an ominous prognosis with a mortality of 50 to 100% in medically treated patients and up to 35% in patients undergoing operation. Surgical resection has been the procedure of choice in patients with massive hemoptysis. Those with a contraindication to operation present a particularly frustrating problem. We have treated 7 such patients with massive hemoptysis by transcatheter bronchial artery embolization. In all 7, the bleeding was arrested. Two patients died of recurrent hemoptysis, 1 ten days and the other 2 months following embolization, and 5 are well 1 month to one year later. Transcatheter bronchial artery embolization is a valuable therapeutic modality in patients with massive hemoptysis. However, the procedure is palliative, and, therefore, elective resection must be considered as definitive treatment in those patients who have no contraindication to operation.

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