Endobronchial Lesions in Patients Presenting with Hemoptysis

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Abstract

Objectives

The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of endobronchial lesions in patients presenting with hemoptysis. We also aimed to characterize features that would predict whether bronchoscopy would be useful.

Methods

A retrospective chart review was conducted on 185 consecutive patients who presented with hemoptysis from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2015 at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare–affiliated hospitals in Memphis, Tennessee. Data collection included demographic information, description of hemoptysis, imaging results, bronchoscopy results, and the final diagnosis.

Results

A total of 185 patients presented with hemoptysis during our study period. Of these, 14 patients were excluded because of age (younger than 18 years) and incomplete data (inadequate information about the procedure performed, lack of imaging studies, incorrect International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision coding). The final analysis was performed in 171 patients; 87 underwent bronchoscopy either to determine etiology or to aid in management. Most patients (73%) had mild hemoptysis, with approximately half of the patients having hemoptysis for ≤1 day. Of 87 people who underwent bronchoscopy, 12 (13.8%) were found to have endobronchial lesions, and 35 (51.7%) patients were found to have either active bleeding or had fresh blood in their airway during bronchoscopy. Final diagnoses included pneumonia/bronchitis in 30 (18.9%) patients, malignancy in 24 (15.1 %), and anticoagulation toxicity in 23 (14.5%) patients.

Conclusions

Bronchoscopy should be strongly considered in patients presenting with hemoptysis, especially if it is frank blood, of >1 week’s duration, or both, because the information obtained can be vital for management. This appears to hold true even for patients who have no abnormalities seen on computed tomography chest imaging upon initial workup.

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