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Diagn Cytopathol. 2013 Jul;41(7):629-35. doi: 10.1002/dc.22902. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

Deciduoid mesothelioma: cytologic presentation and diagnostic pitfalls.

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Department of Pathology, University of Michigan, 1500 E. Medical Center Dr, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


We report two cases of malignant deciduoid mesothelioma (MDM), a very rare variant of malignant mesothelioma (MM). Case 1: An 18-year-old male with no history of asbestos exposure presented with worsening abdominal pain, anorexia, and vomiting after a motor vehicle accident. A CT scan showed small amount of ascites and abdominal mass. An exploratory laparotomy revealed multiple yellow tan, firm nodules on the peritoneum and omentum. He received palliative treatment and died 5 months after the diagnosis. Case 2: A 64-year-old female with history of asbestos exposure initially presented with abdominal distension. CT scan showed abdominal mass with a large amount of ascites. A diagnostic laparoscopy revealed multiple peritoneal nodules. She underwent several regimens of chemotherapy over a period of 69 months and is still alive to date. In both cases, features of mesothelial origin were subtle and the smears showed predominantly single cells with marked nuclear atypia. The second case also contained few two-dimensional loose cell clusters with scalloped or hobnail borders. The clusters often exhibited a pseudoacinar structure surrounding a globular extracellular material. Groups of three to four cells often formed doublets and triplets with cell-to-cell windows. Our results show that MDM may not present with the traditional cytological features described in MM and can manifest with more nuclear pleomorphism resulting in erroneous diagnosis. Recognition of the subtle mesothelial features along with the appropriate ancillary tests is essential for accurate diagnosis.

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