The efficacy of empiric arterial embolization for treating severe hemoptysis


Aim: Purpose of the study was to investigate the efficacy of empiric arterial embolization in order to achieve hemostasis in patients with massive hemoptysis. Materials and Methods: A retrospective review of histories and interventional studies of 56 patients (40 male, 16 female, median age 57 years; range, 16 - 83 years) referred for endovascular treatment of massive hemoptysis over a period of 17 years. Arteries supposed to supply the bleeding bronchoalveolar sections were embolized with particles in all cases. Digital subtraction angiographical (DSA) studies were analyzed with respect to the morphology of the embolized arteries. Arteries were termed pathologic when they were either hypertrophic or supplied hypervascular lung sections as well as actively bleeding branches. Empiric embolization was defined as endovascular occlusion of arteries without visible contrast-material extravasation on DSA studies. Results: Continuing hemoptysis was encountered in one (25%) of 4 patients with active contrast extravasation and in 11 (21%) of 52 empirically embolized patients: Six (19%) of 32 patients with pathologic arteries visible on aortography, 3 (18%) of 17 with pathologic arteries visible by selective arteriography and 2 (67%) of 3 with no visible pathologic arteries. From 6 patients (11%, 5 male, 1 female) who died within 30 days after embolization, 3 suffered from tuberculosis while 3 had malignant tumors. Three had ongoing hemoptysis. One patient died of multiple organ failure caused by post-interventional paraplegia and consecutive pneumonia. Conclusion: In patients with hemoptysis, empirical embolization is effective when pathologic bronchial arteries can be identified by DSA.

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Kalmar, P. , Schedlbauer, P. , Wehrschütz, M. , Dörfler, O. , Deutschmann, H. , Smolle-Jüttner, F. and Portugaller, R. (2013) The efficacy of empiric arterial embolization for treating severe hemoptysis. Open Journal of Internal Medicine, 3, 37-41. doi: 10.4236/ojim.2013.32009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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