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ABSTRACT: This paper presents a 73 years old male with three weeks history of intermittent hemoptysis, dysphagia, dyspnea, stridor, and suffocations sensation. By means of fibrotic bronchoscopic examination, the cause was found to be a leech in the glottis. It was removed by injection of 4 ml lidocaine 2%. Infestation into the respiratory tract by a leech may become lethal because of hypoxia and death secondary to airway obstruction. A high index of suspicion of leech infestation sould be considered in patients presenting with hemoptysis, hoarseness and respiratory distress and a history of recent contact with fresh water streams.
Pneumologia 11/2010; 60(2):85-6.