BMJ Case Reports 2013; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-008160

An unusual and deadly cause for massive haemoptysis

  1. Rahul Magazine3
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  2. 2Department of Cardiology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  3. 3Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr G Vivek, vivekgraman{at}


We report a 47-year-old man with diabetics presenting with massive haemoptysis. Physical examination showed moderate pallor, but was otherwise normal. Evaluation showed normal bleeding and clotting parameters. Aerobic cultures of sputum samples and acid-fast staining were negative. CT showed fusiform aneurysmal dilation of the descending thoracic aorta compressing the left main bronchus with secondary collapse of the left lower and lingular lobes. Massive haemoptysis was attributed to probable erosion of the aneurysm into the left main bronchus. Retrospective questioning failed to elicit pathognomic symptoms of aortic aneurysm including chest pain. While in the hospital, the patient had another bout of massive haemoptysis, requiring endotracheal intubation for airway protection. Chest x-ray revealed homogeneous opacification of the left hemithorax. The patient was treated with antitussives and blood transfusions and referred to a higher centre for endovascular stent grafting of the aneurysm and simultaneous surgical repair of the left main bronchus. Aortic aneurysm is a rare but deadly cause for haemoptysis, as rapid exsanguination can lead to cardiovascular collapse and death.

Register for free content

The full text of all Editor's Choice articles and summaries of every article are free without registration

The full text of Images in ... articles are free to registered users

Only fellows can access the full text of case reports (apart from Editor's Choice) - become a fellow today, or encourage your institution to, so that together we can grow and develop this resource

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the case reports as they are published, and let us know what you think by commenting on the Editor's blog

Navigate This Article