Ideally, all patients presenting with haemoptysis should undergo further tests to rule out any underlying sinister causes. Besides the routine physical examination, your doctor will order a chest x-ray as a first assessment. If that is normal, further investigations might be necessary such as a computed tomography (CT) of the chest. Often a bronchoscopy – an endoscopic examination of the airways – is performed to identify a source of the bleeding or to even get a tissue biopsy from suspicious lesions.
Besides these, your doctor might order an electrocardiogram (ECG) or echocardiogram (Echo) if a heart problem or a pulmonary embolism is suspected.
Other tests such as sputum analysis and culture, full blood count and tests of the blood clotting ability might be ordered. In unclear cases more sophisticated tests such as CT angiograms (CT to show specific blood vessels) or even Positron Emission Tomography/CT (PET or PET/CT) may be ordered to further investigate.
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