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J Thorac Dis. 2014 Dec;6(12):E272-5. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2014.11.36.

Primary malignant pericardial mesothelioma-a rare cause of superior vena cava thrombosis and constrictive pericarditis.

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1 Department of Cardiac Surgery, Ruijin Hospital of Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China ; 2 Department of Cardio-thoracic Surgery, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230601, China.


Primary malignant pericardial mesothelioma (PMPM) is an extremely rare, highly lethal and often misdiagnosed tumor. We report a 60-year-old woman complaining of dry cough, shortness of breath and exertional dyspnea due to a large pericardial effusion. The pericardial fluid volume declined after pericardiocentesis; analysis of the fluid revealed malignant cells and was negative for tuberculosis. Subsequently, the patient developed a compression of the superior vena cava and pericardial constriction. The patient's symptoms marginally improved after partial pericardiectomy, and a diagnosis of pericardial mesothelioma was made on pathology. However, her symptoms continued to aggravate, and she died 8 months after presentation. Pericardial mesothelioma should be discovered earlier to treat patients who develop repeatedly pericardial effusion after pericardiocentesis and pericardial tamponade or those develop constrictive pericarditis.


Pericardial mesothelioma; constrictive pericarditis; superior vena cava thrombosis

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