noun, plural: haemoptyses

The expectoration of blood or of blood-stained sputum


Haemoptysis is a term used to refer to the coughing up of blood or blood-stained sputum from the bronchi, larynx, trachea, or lungs. It may be a symptom of a cardiovascular condition (e.g. congestive heart failure and mitral stenosis), lung cancer, or infection (e.g. tuberculosis, pneumonia, etc.). It may also be associated albeit rare with the following conditions: hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT or Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome), Goodpasture's syndrome, and granulomatosis with polyangiitis. It may also be due to foreign body in the airway, especially in children. Medications such as warfarin may also cause haemoptysis.1 A dangerous type of haemoptysis is when there is more than 300 mL of blood coughed up in 24 hours since it could lead to choking.2 One might take a hint from the color of the blood coughed up. Bright-red, foamy blood is often involving the respiratory tract whereas dark-red, coffee-colored blood typically involves the gastrointestinal tract.1

Word origin: Greek ptyein (to spit)


See also:

Mentioned in:

1 Hemoptysis. Retrieved from [1].
2 Sabatine, [edited by] Marc S. (2014). Pocket medicine (Fifth edition. ed.). [S.l.]: Aspen Publishers, Inc.

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