Massive hemoptysis: an update on the role of bronchoscopy in diagnosis and management

Respiration. 2010;80(1):38-58. doi: 10.1159/000274492. Epub 2010 Jan 8.


Hemoptysis is frequently encountered in clinical practice, and may be the presenting symptom of a number of diseases. Although massive hemoptysis accounts for only 5-15% of episodes, it should always be considered as a life-threatening condition that warrants effective assessment and management. In this article, we review the literature with regard to the definition, etiology, epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of massive hemoptysis, with special emphasis on the role of bronchoscopy as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool. We briefly present the circumstances under which the use of rigid bronchoscopy should be preferred for controlling massive bleeding. Moreover, we address the crucial importance of multidisciplinary collaboration by illustrating the roles of endovascular therapy and surgery in the optimal management of massive hemoptysis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Bronchoscopy*
  • Decision Trees
  • Embolization, Therapeutic
  • Hemoptysis / diagnosis*
  • Hemoptysis / etiology
  • Hemoptysis / therapy*
  • Hemostasis, Endoscopic
  • Humans