Objective: To evaluate the immediate and long-term results of arterial embolisation in the management of haemoptysis and to identify factors influencing outcome.
Methods: A retrospective analysis was carried out of the medical records and angiograms of 50 patients who underwent transarterial embolisation for haemoptysis.
Results: The most frequent causes of haemoptysis included bronchiectasis (16%), active tuberculosis (12%) and aspergilloma (12%). A total of 126 bronchial and non-bronchial systemic arteries were embolised in 62 procedures. Immediate cessation of haemoptysis was achieved in 43 patients (86%). Haemoptysis was controlled in 36 patients (72%), recurred in 14 (28%) and 11 (22%) required repeat embolisation. The worst outcomes were observed in patients with aspergilloma: all six suffered recurrent bleeding and three (50%) died from massive haemoptysis. Aspergilloma was also associated with an increased risk of haemoptysis recurrence (p < 0.05). A good clinical outcome was achieved in those with active tuberculosis and malignancy. Complication rates were low and included transient chest pain, false aneurysm and one case of lower limb weakness.
Conclusion: Bronchial artery embolisation (BAE) is an effective and safe procedure for haemoptysis control in most cases. However, high recurrence and mortality rates are associated with aspergilloma. Early intervention with repeat embolisation is recommended in these patients and elective surgery should be considered.