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Anticancer Res. 2010 Apr;30(4):1323-5.

Primary pericardial mesothelioma in an asbestos-exposed patient with previous heart surgery.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, Ospedale di Cattinara, Strada di Fiume, Trieste, Italy.


We present a case of primary pericardial mesothelioma occurring in an asbestos-exposed 67-year-old man who underwent four aortocoronary bypass grafting seven years prior to the onset of the mesothelioma. Primary pericardial mesothelioma is a rare tumor whose association with asbestos is more infrequent than that of the much more common pleural form. Factors other than asbestos that may play a role include genetic predisposition, immune impairment, infections, radiation, dietary factors, and recurrent serosal inflammation. We consider that, in the presented case, inflammation and healing resulting from pericardiotomy might have had a synergistic effect with asbestos in the pathogenesis of the tumor. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of primary pericardial mesothelioma arising in a patient exposed to asbestos who previously underwent cardiac surgery.

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