Bronchial artery embolization for the treatment of hemoptysis in patients with cystic fibrosis

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1998 Jun;157(6 Pt 1):1951-8. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.157.6.9708067.


Hemoptysis is common in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Bleeding may vary in severity, ranging from minor blood-streaking of sputum to expectoration of significant quantities of blood. Major hemoptysis, defined as bleeding greater than 240 ml/24 h, represents a medical emergency. Bronchial artery embolization (BAE) is one of the treatment options for hemoptysis. We reviewed the 10-yr experience at the University of North Carolina Hospitals in the treatment of hemoptysis by BAE. Eighteen patients with CF were hospitalized on 29 occasions and underwent 36 BAE procedures for the control of hemoptysis. Most patients (n = 11) had very severe lung disease (FEV1 < 35%) with a high incidence (n = 9, 50%) of multi-drug-resistant bacteria. Fifteen patients (n = 33 procedures) were followed for a mean of approximately 22 mo after BAE. The overall efficacy of BAE for initial control of hemoptysis was 75% (n = 22) after one session, 89% (n = 26) after two sessions, and 93% (n = 27) after three sessions. The overall recurrence rate per episode was 46% (12/26 presentations in four patients) with a mean time for recurrence of approximately 12 mo. There was a high incidence (75%) of bleeding from nonbronchial systemic collateral vessels among patients (n = 7) who had undergone a previous BAE. There were two deaths associated with massive hemoptysis despite BAE. Three patients had transient neurologic deficits during BAE. We concluded that BAE is a relatively safe and effective means of treating significant hemoptysis in patients with CF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Bronchial Arteries*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic* / adverse effects
  • Embolization, Therapeutic* / methods
  • Female
  • Hemoptysis / complications
  • Hemoptysis / diagnostic imaging
  • Hemoptysis / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Lung / blood supply
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / complications
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome