Hemoptysis. Indications for bronchoscopy

Arch Intern Med. 1991 Jan;151(1):171-4. doi: 10.1001/archinte.151.1.171.


Indications for bronchoscopy in patients with hemoptysis and a normal or nonlocalizing chest roentgenogram continue to be controversial. We reviewed the records for 119 bronchoscopies performed for hemoptysis in patients with a normal (n = 75) or nonlocalizing (n = 44) chest roentgenogram. Bronchogenic carcinoma was identified in 2.5% of the bronchoscopies. Additional neoplasms were found in another 2.5%. The presence of nonlocalizing abnormalities was not associated with an increase in either the rate of bronchogenic carcinoma or in the diagnostic yield (specific anatomic diagnosis or bleeding site identified) at bronchoscopy when compared with patients with normal chest roentgenograms. The factors of male sex, age more than 40 years, and a more than 40 pack-year smoking history appear useful in identifying patients in whom the yield of bronchoscopy is likely to be high.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bronchoscopy / methods*
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / complications*
  • Female
  • Hemoptysis / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications*
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Smoking / epidemiology