Vascular intervention in the thorax: bronchial artery embolization for haemoptysis
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Massive haemoptysis is defined as the expectoration of more than 600 mls of blood in 48 h. Many patients are not surgical candidates because of the presence of severe bilateral pulmonary disease and these individuals are best managed by bronchial artery embolization. Occlusion of both the bronchial arteries and hypertrophied non-bronchial systemic arteries is essential if bleeding is to be controlled. A pulmonary arterial source of haemorrhage is uncommon but should always be considered in a patient who has further haemoptyses shortly after a technically successful embolization of bronchial and non-bronchial systemic arteries. The immediate control of haemorrhage is achieved in the majority of patients although subsequent rebleeding on longterm follow-up is not uncommon.
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