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Ann Diagn Pathol. 2013 Feb;17(1):99-103. doi: 10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2012.05.007. Epub 2012 Jul 10.

Two cases of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma without asbestos exposure: cytologic and immunohistochemical features.

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Department of Pathology II, Kansai Medical University, Osaka, Japan.


Approximately half a century has passed since asbestos was first reported to be the main cause of malignant mesothelioma; yet the incidence of this disease continues to increase worldwide. Twenty percent of cases occur without prior asbestos exposure, and in these patients, malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is more common than malignant pleural mesothelioma. Here, we report the cytomorphologic and immunohistochemical features of 2 cases of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma where there was no history of asbestos exposure. Ascitic cytology showed that most cells were isolated and that clusters were rarely observed, but the findings were consistent with malignant mesothelioma in both cases. Immunohistochemical analysis for epithelial membrane antigen, calretinin, vimentin, β-catenin, melan-A, glucose transporter-1, cytokeratin CAM5.2, Wilms tumor antigen-1, D2-40, CD146, progesterone receptor, estrogen receptor, and cytokeratin 5/6 was indicative of malignant mesothelioma. In malignant mesothelioma without prior asbestos exposure, the etiology and prognostic significance is still unclear. Further study is needed to clarify this point.

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