The aim of this study was to retrospectively evaluate 140 patients with severe (97 massive, 43 moderate) haemoptysis treated by bronchial artery embolisation. Between January 1997 and April 2005, 140 patients (120 males and 20 females, aged 23-71 years) with severe haemoptysis considered surgically inoperable because of limited pulmonary reserve were treated by embolisation. The cause of haemoptysis was tuberculosis in 136 patients and malignancy in four. Embolisation succeeded in controlling haemoptysis immediately after the intervention in 138 patients (98.5%) and at 1 month in 126 patients (90%). Severe haemoptysis recurred in 11 patients with prior massive haemoptysis and 3 patients with prior moderate haemoptysis in a mean time of 3.7 months (1-7 months) after the last intervention. The bleeding source was detected during angiography and embolised in 12 of these patients. Two patients with malignant tumour died because of abundant bleeding, following an asymptomatic period of 30 days. There were no procedure-related major complications. Bronchial artery embolisation is a safe and effective palliative treatment alternative in moderate and massive haemoptysis.