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Revista americana de medicina respiratoria

On-line version ISSN 1852-236X


SOLIS, Marco et al. Fibrobroncoscopía en pacientes con hemoptisis no masiva y radiografía de tórax más tomografía de tórax no localizadoras. Rev. am. med. respir. [online]. 2014, vol.14, n.3, pp.259-271. ISSN 1852-236X.

Introduction: The exact role of fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FOB) in the diagnosis of patients presenting with haemoptysis and with normal or non-localizing chest radiography and CT scan has not been clearly defined. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the yield of FOB in patients with haemoptysis and normal findings on chest roentgenogram and CT scan. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of all consecutive patients undergoing elective flexible bronchoscopy between January 2008 and December 2012. All patients underwent FOB within 7 days of active bleeding. Amount of bleeding was classified as trivial (drops of blood, bloody sputum), mild < 100 mL in 24 h and moderate 100-500 mL in 24 h. Bronchoscopy was considered positive if it led to the final diagnosis. We also assessed whether the bronchoscopic evaluation located the bleeding site. Results: Amongst 396 patients examined with FOB, in 102 patients (25.7%) FOB was prescribed for evaluation of haemoptysis; in 52 patients with haemoptysis, the chest radiography was normal. In 42.3% of these patients, CT scan provided additional diagnostic information. In 30 patients (29.4% of all the haemoptysis cases), CXR and CT did not show images which could explain the haemoptysis . Bronchoscopy findings showed an unsuspected bronchial carcinoma in one patient. In seven patients FOB disclosed some benign abnormality. All patients with a positive finding in the FOB were smokers, older than 40 years, had some clinical suspicion and had suffered haemoptysis for more than one week. FOB was normal in asymptomatic patients, who were younger than 40 years and with hemoptysis lasting less than one week. Conclusion: In patients older than 40 years, smokers, with constitutional symptoms or with hemoptysis lasting for more than one week the combined use of bronchoscopy and chest CT gives the best diagnostic yield. In younger, asymptomatic, non-smoking patients with haemoptysis and normal CT scan, further investigations may not be justified, but these results need to be confirmed in a prospective multicenter study.

Keywords : Fiberoptic bronchoscopy; Hemoptysis; Normal computed tomography; Lung cancer; Bronchiectasis.

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