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Respiration. 2000;67(6):615-22.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma caused by environmental exposure to asbestos in the Southeast of Turkey: CT findings in 117 patients.

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Department of Chest Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, University of Dicle, Diyarbakir, Turkey.



Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is reported to be common in the southeast of Turkey, as a result of environmental asbestos exposure. The aim of this study was to evaluate the computed tomography (CT) features of MPM in patients with a history of asbestos exposure.


The CT scans of 117 patients who had a diagnosis of MPM were retrospectively evaluated. Additionally, CT findings of histologic subtypes were compared.


The most common CT findings included pleural effusion (n = 104, 89%), pleural thickening (n = 96, 82%), mediastinal pleural involvement (n = 77, 66%) and interlobar fissural involvement (n = 62, 53%). Histologic subtype analysis was performed in 89 patients; of these, epithelial, sarcomatous and mixed types were identified in 46, 23 and 20 patients, respectively. An analysis of CT findings demonstrated that the involvement of mediastinal pleural (91%), interlobar fissure (87%) and lung parenchyma (48%) was significantly more frequent in sarcomatous type, as compared to epithelial (61% and p < 0.01; 35 and 4%, p < 0.0001, respectively) and mixed types (65% and p < 0.05; 10% and p < 0.0001; 10% and p < 0.01, respectively). Furthermore, there was a significant correlation between pericardial involvement and chest wall involvement (r = 0.42, p < 0.05) in sarcomatous type. Similarly, lymphadenopathy and parenchymal involvement (r = 0.23, p < 0.02), pericardial and chest wall involvement (r = 0.25, p < 0.01), chest wall and interlobar fissural involvement (r = 0.25, p < 0.01) were significantly correlated, when CT findings of all histologic subtypes were combined.


These results suggest that although CT findings of MPM vary, they may provide valuable clues to the diagnosis, at least in patients with a history of asbestos exposure. In addition, the presence of extensive lesions may suggest MPM of sarcomatous subtype.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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