Hemoptysis or Coughing up Blood

Mouth | Pulmonology | Hemoptysis or Coughing up Blood (Symptom)


Hemoptysis is the coughing up of blood or bloody sputum from the lungs or airway. It may be either self-limiting or recurrent. Massive hemoptysis is defined as 200-600 ml of blood coughed up within a period of 24 hours or less. Hemoptysis can range from small quantities of bloody sputum to life-threatening amounts of blood. The patient may or may not have chest pain.


Hemoptysis can be caused by a range of disorders: (i) Infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, aspergillosis, and parasitic diseases, including ascariasis, amebiasis, and paragonimiasis; (ii) Tumors that erode blood vessel walls; (iii) Drug abuse. Cocaine can cause massive hemoptysis; (iv) Trauma. Chest injuries can cause bleeding into the lungs; (v) Vascular disorders, including aneurysms, pulmonary embolism, and malformations of the blood vessels; (vi) Foreign object(s) in the airway; (vii) Bleeding following such surgical procedures as bronchial biopsies and heart catheterization.