Therapeutic embolization of bronchial artery: a successful treatment in 209 cases of relapse hemoptysis

Angiology. 1993 Apr;44(4):295-9. doi: 10.1177/000331979304400405.


Still today bronchial artery embolization (BAE) is an important procedure in the management of hemoptysis, as an alternative to, or in association with, surgical or medical therapy. From 1974 to 1990, BAE was performed in 209 patients who suffered from hemoptysis with different etiopathogeneses and severity. Bronchiectasis were the most frequent indication (46%) followed by tuberculosis (31%), cystic fibrosis (16%), lung cancer (4%), and aspergillosis (3%). BAEs were performed by means of polyvinyl alcohol particles and absorbable gelatin sponge. In a few cases complete occlusion of the main truncus of particularly large bronchial arteries was obtained by use of Gianturco steel coin (5 mm o) technique. In the last seven years, together with the traditional angiographic techniques, selective digital angiography (SDA) was performed, above all in preliminary control phases, to evaluate occlusion during embolization. SDA reduced catheterization time and the mean quantity of contrast administered, decreasing side effects; 98% of hemoptysis was controlled in the first twenty-four hours, the other 2% in the following forty eight hours; 16% relapses occurred within the first year; 27 patients needed reembolization (15 patients twice, 11 patients three times, 1 patient five times). No complications were seen. If diagnosis, therapeutic indications, operative technique, and equipment selection are adequate, BAE has a high reliability in patients affected by relapsing hemoptysis, which is difficult to resolve.

MeSH terms

  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Bronchial Arteries* / diagnostic imaging
  • Bronchiectasis / complications
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications
  • Embolization, Therapeutic*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hemoptysis / epidemiology
  • Hemoptysis / etiology
  • Hemoptysis / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Recurrence
  • Time Factors
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / complications