Hemoptysis in children.


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Abstract

BACKGROUNDPulmonary hemorrhage and hemoptysis are uncommon in childhood, and the frequency with which they are encountered by the pediatrician depends largely on the special interests of the center to which the child is referred. Diagnosis and management of hemoptysis in this age group requires knowledge and skill in the causes and management of this infrequently occurring potentially life-threatening condition.METHODSWe reviewed the causes and treatment options for hemoptysis in the pediatric patient using Medline and Pubmed.RESULTSA focused physical examination can lead to the diagnosis of hemoptysis in most of the cases. In children, lower respiratory tract infection and foreign body aspiration are common causes. Chest radiographs often aid in diagnosis and assist in using two complementary diagnostic procedures, fiberoptic bronchoscopy and high-resolution computed tomography. The goals of management are threefold: bleeding cessation, aspiration prevention, and treatment of the underlying cause. Mild hemoptysis often is caused by an infection that can be managed on an outpatient basis with close monitoring. Massive hemoptysis may require additional therapeutic options such as therapeutic bronchoscopy, angiography with embolization, and surgical intervention such as resection or revascularization.CONCLUSIONSHemoptysis in the pediatric patient requires prompt and thorough evaluation and treatment. An efficient systematic evaluation is imperative in identifying the underlying etiology and aggressive management is important because of the potential severity of the problem. This clinical review highlights the various etiological factors, the diagnostic and treatment strategies of hemoptysis in children.

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