Role of fibreoptic bronchoscopy in cases of hemoptysis with normal chest radiograph

Arun B. J., Mohan J., Vijay Bhaskar, Niranjan Nagaraj


Background: Hemoptysis is one of the important and common respiratory symptoms in routine clinical practice. The aim is to study the role of fibreoptic bronchoscopy in cases of hemoptysis with normal chest radiograph.

Methods: As per inclusion criteria 18 patients were selected and all of them underwent fibre-optic-bronchoscopy at our Bronchoscopy suite. Routine bronchial washings were obtained and processed with appropriate stains for malignant cells and mycobacterium tuberculosis. Bronchial biopsies and brushings were performed as indicated.

Results: A Total of 18 patients were included in this study after considering the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Of the 18 patients 14 (77.77%) were males and 4 (22.22%) were females. Among 18 patients evaluated for hemoptysis, site of bleeding could be identified in 7 (38.89%) patients but the exact cause of bleeding could not be identified. Bronchial wash was done in 16 of 18 patients and only one of them (6.25%) was positive for malignant cells, which was later confirmed to be carcinoid. 

Conclusions: Apart from identifying the site of bleeding in few cases, Fibre-Optic-Bronchoscopy in patients with hemoptysis and normal chest x-ray has limited role in our study and CT examination of all such patients prior to bronchoscopy maybe of some help in making the diagnosis, however the small sample size in present study is a limitation which prevents us from generalising the findings.


Hemoptysis, Bronchoscopy, Radiograph, Hypoxia

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