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An Med Interna. 2002 Feb;19(2):59-65.

[Usefulness of computerized tomography and bronchoscopy in patients with hemoptysis. Analysis of 482 cases].

[Article in Spanish]

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Sección de Neumología, Servicios de Medicina Interna y Radiología, Hospital Universitario Dr. Josep Trueta, Avda. de Francia s/n. 17007 Girona.



We have examined the computed chest tomography (CT) and bronchoscopy utility in diagnosis and accurately identifying the sites of pulmonary bleeding in patients with hemoptysis.


We prospectively reviewed the etiology and the site of bleeding of 482 patients with hemoptysis who had undergone bronchoscopy and CT when we suspected a carcinoma, bronchiectasis or the type of bleeding. We analyzed the age, sex, history of tobacco, bleeding, chest radiography, chest computed tomography and bronchoscopy.


62 years (DS 13.6), 84.4% males, 80% smokers and a volume of bleeding of 42.5 ml/day (DS 89) for 15 days (DS 25). Lung cancer was identified in 43%, bronchiectasis in 20%, chronic obstructive lung disease in 14%, pneumonia 8% and an unknown etiology in only 3%. Bronchoscopy located the site of bleeding in 77% and CT in 83%. When we examine only the lung carcinomas, the chest radiography was normal in 11% and the bronchoscopy was diagnostic in 87%, including 6 cases with a normal CT. Simultaneously chest CT or radiography and bronchoscopy detected all the lung cancers. When the chest radiography was inespecific (32%), CT was diagnostic in 43% and bronchoscopy in 14% (p < 0.001) or localized the site of bleeding in 52% with the CT or 23% with the bronchoscopy (< 0.001).


We concluded that bronchoscopy and CT were useful and complementary in etiologic diagnosis and to localize the site of bleeding in patients with hemoptysis. The bronchoscopy was preferable in patients with a lung cancer and the CT when we studied all the etiologies or the patients without a lung cancer, especially when the radiography was normal. When we simultaneously used a CT or a radiography and the bronchoscopy, all the lung cancers were detected.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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