Vessels of the Central Airways: A Bronchoscopic Perspective

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Blood supply of the tracheobronchial tree is derived from a dual system involving pulmonary and bronchial circulation. Various primary and secondary abnormalities of central airway vasculature can present with patterns that are distinct during bronchoscopy. These patterns maybe visualized during bronchoscopic evaluation of a patient with hemoptysis or as an incidental finding during an airway examination for other indications. Thorough knowledge of airway vasculature abnormalities and recognition of possible underlying pathophysiology is vital for the bronchoscopist. This review is a comprehensive description of vascular anatomy of the airway and the different vascular abnormalities that can be encountered during bronchoscopy.

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