Role of fiberoptic bronchoscopy in patients with hemoptysis and a normal chest roentgenogram

Chest. 1985 Feb;87(2):142-4. doi: 10.1378/chest.87.2.142.


We reviewed the charts of 48 consecutive patients who had fiberoptic bronchoscopy performed in the evaluation of hemoptysis with a normal chest roentgenogram. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy provided a diagnosis other than endobronchial inflammation in only four patients--benign fibromuscular polyp in one patient, Mycobacterium tuberculosis in 1 patient, and carcinoma in two others. A literature review revealed an overall 3 percent incidence of bronchogenic carcinoma in patients with hemoptysis and normal findings on chest roentgenogram. Other than abnormal findings on chest roentgenogram, risk factors for carcinoma in patients with hemoptysis include: (1) age greater than 40; (2) significant smoking history; and (3) duration of hemoptysis for longer than one week. We concluded that in patients with hemoptysis and normal chest x-ray film findings, routine fiberoptic bronchoscopy may not always be indicated to rule out malignancy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchoscopy*
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Fiber Optic Technology*
  • Hemoptysis / diagnosis*
  • Hemoptysis / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies