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Ultrastruct Pathol. 2015;39(4):286-92.

Heavy Metal Bioaccumulation in an Atypical Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor of the Abdominal Wall.

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Department of Diagnostic and Clinical Medicine and of Public Health, Section of Pathology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia , Modena (MO) , Italy .


Heavy metals are able to interfere with the function of vital cellular components. Besides in trace heavy metals, which are essential at low concentration for humans, there are heavy metals with a well-known toxic and oncogenic potential. In this study, for the first time in literature, we report the unique adulthood case of an atypical primitive neuroectodermal tumor of the abdominal wall, diagnosed by histology and immunohistochemistry, with the molecular hybridization support. The neoplasia occurred in a patient chronically exposed to a transdermal delivery of heavy metal salts (aluminum and bismuth), whose intracellular bioaccumulation has been revealed by elemental microanalysis.


Aluminum; Ewing’s sarcoma/primitive euroectodermal tumor; bioaccumulation; bismuth; heavy metals; microanalysis; scanning electron microscope

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