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A Case Report of Cannabis Induced Hemoptysis

Section Editor(s): Adesina., AdebowaleHashmi, Hafiz Rizwan Talib MD; Duncalf, Richard MD; Khaja, Misbahuddin MD

doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000003232
Research Article: Clinical Case Report

As the principal route of marijuana use is by inhalation, potential harmful consequences on pulmonary structure and function can be anticipated. Here, we present a case of hemoptysis attributed to smoking cannabis in a 38-year-old man. The patient experienced an episode of hemoptysis and shortness of breath immediately after smoking marijuana. Chest radiograph and computed tomography (CT) scans of the chest showed bilateral diffuse ground-glass opacities. A fiber optic bronchoscopy confirmed bilateral diffuse bleeding from respiratory tract. Additional evaluation of hemoptysis indicated no infection or immunological responses. Urine toxicology was positive for cannabis.

Chronic marijuana smoking causes visible and microscopic injury to the larger airways responsible for symptoms or chronic bronchitis. We review the beneficial and deleterious effects of marijuana and describe a case of significant hemoptysis attributed to smoking marijuana. In addition to other respiratory complications of marijuana use, physicians should educate their patients about this potentially lethal effect of marijuana smoking in the form of hemoptysis.

From the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, Bronx, NY.

Correspondence: Misbahuddin Khaja, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, Bronx, NY 10457 (e-mail:

Abbreviations: BAL = bronchoalveolar lavage, CT = computed tomography, CYP = cytochrome P, DNA = deoxyribonucleic acid, THC = tetrahydrocannabinol.

Ethical approval and patient's consent: Since this is a case report, institutional review board approval is not sought; however, written consent from the patient is available and can be submitted when required.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives License 4.0, which allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to the author.

Received October 2, 2015

Received in revised form February 18, 2016

Accepted March 4, 2016

Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.