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Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc. 2016 Nov-Dec;54(6):770-776.

[Update on epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma].

[Article in Spanish; Abstract available in Spanish from the publisher]

Author information

Servicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital Regional "Lic. Adolfo López Mateos", Instituto de Seguridad y Servicios Sociales de los Trabajadores del Estado, Ciudad de México, México.


in English, Spanish

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an occupational tumor caused by asbestos exposure. In Mexico, as asbestos usage is not prohibited, an increase in the number of cases is expected. Asbestos exposure is ubiquitous due to the great amount of products in which it is present. Its carcinogenicity is caused as the inhaled asbestos fibers cannot be eliminated by macrophages and, thus, they travel to the pleura through lymphatic pathways, producing a persistent inflammatory response. Diagnosis approach includes occupational history, along with clinical signs and symptoms, and paraclinical studies, such as pleural fluid cytology, chest x-rays, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and biopsy with immunohistochemistry. The main differential diagnosis is lung adenocarcinoma. Regarding the treatment of this tumor, it mainly comprises palliative care, even though chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and, in selected cases, surgical treatments have been used. There is an urgent need for general physicians and specialists to identify asbestos exposure, in order to make a timely diagnosis. Research is necessary to develop screening and prompt diagnostic tools, along with an epidemiological surveillance program for the workers and the general population exposed to asbestos.


Asbestos; Mesothelioma; Occupational health

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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