Bloody Sputum (Hemoptysis): Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Bloody sputum (coughing up blood or bloody mucus or hemoptysis) can come from common forms of infection in the lungs and airways, such as acute bronchitis or pneumonia. Bloody sputum can be a result of lung cancer. Whenever bloody sputum is present and cannot be attributed to a curable condition, a complete lung evaluation is warranted. Bloody sputum is also referred to as hemoptysis.

Causes of bloody sputum include lung infection with pneumonia, bronchitis, tuberculosis, parasites (hookworm), cystic fibrosis, nosebleed (epistaxis), pulmonary edema, pulmonary embolism, chest trauma, mitral stenosis, lung cancer, and Goodpasture syndrome.

Related Symptoms & Signs

Other causes of bloody sputum

  • Bleeding Disorder Including Anticoagulant Therapy
  • Bronchial Adenoma
  • Foreign Body Material in the Lung
  • Fungus Infection of the Lung Such as Coccidiomycosis, Blastomycosis
  • Goodpasture Syndrome
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Hemosiderosis
  • Lung Abscess
  • Mitral Stenosis
  • Parasites Including Paragonimus westermani
  • Rare Lung Tumors
  • Trauma to the Lung

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.