Temporary endobronchial embolization with silicone spigots for moderate hemoptysis: a retrospective study

Respiration. 2012;84(3):225-30. doi: 10.1159/000339421. Epub 2012 Jul 24.


Background: The management of airway bleeding is generally performed in an emergency to prevent hypoxemia and lung flooding. When the bleeding arises from peripheral lesions that are not visible endoscopically, bronchoscopic options have limited curative intents. Endobronchial embolization using silicone spigots (EESS) is a novel approach.

Objectives: We analyzed the efficacy and safety of EESS in a retrospective study.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed charts of patients referred to our center for moderate hemoptysis (MH) who underwent EESS. Successful management is defined as immediate bleeding cessation.

Results: From December 2008 to January 2012, 9 patients were treated with EESS in our endoscopy unit. The MH originated from the left upper lobe in 4 cases, the right upper lobe in 3 cases and the right middle lobe and left lower lobe in 1 case each. Thirteen spigots were inserted. The success rate was 78%. Of the 9 patients, 7 were referred to interventional radiology for bronchial artery embolization, with a success rate of 86%, and 2 were referred for thoracic surgery. One patient had EESS as definitive treatment; the silicone spigots were bronchoscopically removed after a median of 4 days in 6 of the remaining 8 patients. Only 2 patients had hemoptysis recurrence after a median follow-up of 107 days (ranging from 13 to 1,017 days). None of the patients died from hemoptysis.

Conclusion: EESS is an original, temporary technique that requires only a flexible bronchoscope and biopsy forceps for placement and removal. EESS ensures airway protection while waiting for definitive management.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bronchi
  • Bronchoscopy / methods*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hemoptysis / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Silicon / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Silicon