Bronchial artery bleeding is the most common cause of life-threatening hemoptysis. The most common underlying etiologies include tuberculosis, bronchiectasis, aspergillosis, and cystic fibrosis. Bronchial artery embolization is an important treatment for significant hemoptysis, given its high early success rate and relatively low risk compared with alternative medical and surgical treatments. In this article, the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology leading to bronchial artery bleeding is discussed, including the roles of parenchymal lung diseases and of collateral and aberrant vessels. The indications for treatment, success rate, and complication rate for bronchial artery embolization are reviewed. Preprocedure clinical stabilization and evaluation, including the roles of radiographs, bronchoscopy, and computed tomography examination are evaluated. Details of technique, including the published variety of approaches, and an emphasis on avoidance of nontarget embolization of important mediastinal structures and of the anterior spinal artery are discussed.
Keywords: Hemoptysis; bronchial artery; embolization; selective angiography.