Hemoptysis diagnostic study of choice

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Hemoptysis Microchapters


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Diagnostic Study of Choice

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Case #1

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sadaf Sharfaei M.D.[2]


The initial diagnostic study in a patient with hemoptysis is chest x-ray. If diagnosis is not found on chest x-ray, the next step is to perform high resolution CT scan or bronchoscopy. HRCT is better for diagnosis of bronchiectasis or lung carcinoma. Flexible bronchoscopy is better for diagnosis of mucosal abnormalities such as bronchitis, Dieulafoy disease or kaposi sarcoma.

Diagnostic Study of Choice

Study of choice

Diagnosis of Mild to Moderate Hemoptysis

The algorithm is based on the American Family Physician Journal of hemoptysis: Diagnosis and Management [7]

Mild hemoptysis
❑ <30 cc in 24 hours [8]
Moderate hemoptysis
❑ 30-200 cc in 24 hours [9]
Chest X-ray (CXR)
Chest X-ray and CT
Diagnose found
Diagnose unknown
Diagnose found
Diagnose unknown
Treat underlying disease
Risk of malignancy[10]


❑ Occupational exposure

❑ Family history

❑ Previous cancer treatment
Treat underlying disease
Bronchoscopy to find diagnosis
Diagnose found
Diagnose unknown
CT or bronchoscopy to find diagnosis
Close monitoring
Treat underlying disease
Close monitoring
Diagnose found
Diagnose unknown
If hemoptysis persist consult with pneumonologist
Treat underlying Disease
Close monitoring


  1. Khalil, A.; Fedida, B.; Parrot, A.; Haddad, S.; Fartoukh, M.; Carette, M.-F. (2015). "Severe hemoptysis: From diagnosis to embolization". Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging. 96 (7–8): 775–788. doi:10.1016/j.diii.2015.06.007. ISSN 2211-5684.
  2. Andersen, P. E. (2016). "Imaging and interventional radiological treatment of hemoptysis". Acta Radiologica. 47 (8): 780–792. doi:10.1080/02841850600827577. ISSN 0284-1851.
  3. Lee, Myoung Kyu; Kim, Sang-Ha; Yong, Suk Joong; Shin, Kye Chul; Kim, Hyun Sik; Yu, Tae-Sun; Choi, Eun Hee; Lee, Won-Yeon (2015). "Moderate hemoptysis: recurrent hemoptysis and mortality according to bronchial artery embolization". The Clinical Respiratory Journal. 9 (1): 53–64. doi:10.1111/crj.12104. ISSN 1752-6981.
  4. Gupta, Mudit; Srivastava, Deep Narayan; Seith, Ashu; Sharma, Sanjay; Thulkar, Sanjay; Gupta, Rashmi (2013). "Clinical Impact of Multidetector Row Computed Tomography Before Bronchial Artery Embolization in Patients With Hemoptysis: A Prospective Study". Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal. 64 (1): 61–73. doi:10.1016/j.carj.2011.08.002. ISSN 0846-5371.
  5. Noë, G.D.; Jaffé, S.M.; Molan, M.P. (2011). "CT and CT angiography in massive haemoptysis with emphasis on pre-embolization assessment". Clinical Radiology. 66 (9): 869–875. doi:10.1016/j.crad.2011.03.001. ISSN 0009-9260.
  6. Sakr, L.; Dutau, H. (2010). "Massive Hemoptysis: An Update on the Role of Bronchoscopy in Diagnosis and Management". Respiration. 80 (1): 38–58. doi:10.1159/000274492. ISSN 1423-0356.
  7. name="pmid16225028">Bidwell JL, Pachner RW (2005). "Hemoptysis: diagnosis and management". Am Fam Physician. 72 (7): 1253–60. PMID 16225028.
  8. name="pmid12243312">Fidan A, Ozdoğan S, Oruç O, Salepçi B, Ocal Z, Cağlayan B (2002). "Hemoptysis: a retrospective analysis of 108 cases". Respir Med. 96 (9): 677–80. PMID 12243312.
  9. name="pmid12243312">Fidan A, Ozdoğan S, Oruç O, Salepçi B, Ocal Z, Cağlayan B (2002). "Hemoptysis: a retrospective analysis of 108 cases". Respir Med. 96 (9): 677–80. PMID 12243312.
  10. Parkin DM, Boyd L, Walker LC (2011). "16. The fraction of cancer attributable to lifestyle and environmental factors in the UK in 2010". Br J Cancer. 105 Suppl 2: S77–81. doi:10.1038/bjc.2011.489. PMC 3252065. PMID 22158327.