Management of haemoptysis: a retrospective analysis of the efficacy of current treatment modalities

Gerard Alexander, Professor A Reddi, Mr M Munasur


Currently, the main treatment modalities for haemoptysis are lung resection, bronchial artery embolisation and medical therapy (antibiotics and sedation). Other modalities, though not commonly used include: ice-cold saline lavage, cellulose/balloon bronchial tamponade, instillation of vasoconstrictors into the bronchial tree, instillation of antifungal agents into mycetoma-containing cavities, cavernostomies and insertion of Fogarty catheters, bronchus blockers as well as double-lumen endotracheal tubes.


The clinical records of patients presenting to the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery with haemoptysis between January 2005 and October 2007 will be reviewed.

Clinical data will categorize patients into 2 groups i.e. those presenting with minor haemoptysis and those presenting with massive haemoptysis. Patients suitable for lung resection will also be identified.


Haemoglobin, arterial blood gases, pulmonary function tests (when appropriate), chest radiograph, high resolution computerized tomography scan (HRCT), HIV status         (CD4-cell count and viral load where applicable) and albumin level, will be evaluated to determine appropriate treatment.


Outcomes of therapy will be analysed according to the incidence of recurrent haemoptysis, post operative convalescence and where feasible, outpatient follow up.

The efficacy of the various treatment modalities will be analysed to determine appropriate and timeous therapy following patient evaluation.