Embolization for hemoptysis in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension: report of two cases and a review of the literature

Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. Jan-Feb 2007;30(1):136-9. doi: 10.1007/s00270-005-0382-8.


Hemoptysis is a known complication in patients with bronchial artery hypertrophy due to a variety of chronic pulmonary disorders. Bronchial artery hypertrophy is observed in most patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), but surprisingly little is known about the incidence of hemoptysis in these patients. In this paper, we report on 2 patients with CTEPH and recurrent severe hemoptysis, who were treated by bronchial artery embolization. One patient recovered and 1 patient died as a consequence of the bleeding. A systematic review revealed 21 studies on the underlying pathology in 1,844 patients with moderate to severe hemoptysis. CTEPH was reported to be the cause of bleeding in 0.1% (n = 2), pulmonary arterial hypertension without chronic thromboembolic disease in 0.2% (n = 4), and acute pulmonary embolism in 0.7% (n = 12) of the patients. In contrast to this, 5 patients (6%) in our own series of 79 CTEPH patients suffered from moderate to severe hemoptysis requiring medical intervention. Severe hemoptysis appears to be an uncommon, but possibly underreported, life-threatening complication in CTEPH patients. As most CTEPH patients require life-long anticoagulants a therapeutic dilemma may ensue. Therefore, we propose that even mild hemoptysis in CTEPH patients warrants prompt evaluation, and treatment by embolization should be offered as first choice in CTEPH patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction / methods
  • Chronic Disease
  • Contrast Media / administration & dosage
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Hemoptysis / etiology
  • Hemoptysis / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / complications
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / therapy*
  • Pulmonary Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Embolism / complications
  • Pulmonary Embolism / therapy*
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Contrast Media