BRONCHIAL EMBOLIZATION

What are the indications?

Severe bleeding from the lungs with expectoration of blood is known as haemoptysis. The common causes for the bleeding include lungs infections like chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, TB or cystic fibrosis. Rarely, tumors of the lungs may also bleed.

Procedure

Same as for general angiography and embolization.

The radiologist will, with a help of X-rays, place the tube into the bronchial artery and administer embolization material.

Sometimes your doctor will organize CT Angiogram before the intervention in order to better delineate vascular anatomy and identify the origin of bronchial artery.

The preferred agents for occlusion of the bleeding vessels are Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) particles or acrylic polymer spheres (Embospheres); they allow permanent blockage of the site of bleeding.

Is there any additional risk?

Sometimes, the bronchial artery communicates with the artery supplying your spinal cord (spinal artery) and in that case the injection of embolization material may cause cord infarct and paralysis. The doctor will perform series of X-rays to make sure that the catheter is in a stable position for the safe administration of the agent. In rare occasions, he may advice you that the procedure is technically not possible.

The possibility that the embolization agent can dislodge into the arterial system and deprive healthy organs of blood supply is minimal. It is avoided by the careful monitoring of the administration of particles by high resolution X-ray equipment.

You may feel moderate pain in the chest 24-48 hours after the procedure, which will necessitate per oral or IV administration of painkillers.

Despite using permanent embolization material, repeated infections in the chest often recruit new pathological vessels and bleeding may recur. This will necessitate repeated procedure.

The other risks are similar to general angiography and embolization

 

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