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Curated Journal Articles on Mesothelioma

Pleural irregularities and mediastinal pleural involvement in early stages of malignant pleural mesothelioma and benign asbestos pleural effusion

European Journal of Radiology 2016 September 8 [Epub 2016 June 21] [Link]

Kato K, Gemba K, Fujimoto N, Aoe K, Takeshima Y, Inai K, Kishimoto T

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:
To elucidate differences in the level and localization of pleural irregularities in early malignant pleural mesothelioma (eMPM) and benign asbestos pleural effusion (BAPE) using CT.
STUDY DESIGN:
Retrospective assessment of CT findings of consecutive patients with BAPE at a single centre and patients with eMPM reported in Japanese vital statistics.
METHODOLOGY:
Thirty-six patients with confirmed diagnoses of BAPE and sixty-six patients with confirmed diagnoses of eMPM (mesothelioma stages T1 or T2) were included. Informed consent, CT scans, and clinical and pathologic details were obtained for all patients and were reviewed by one radiologist, two pathologists, and two pulmonologists. Asbestosis, pleural plaque, rounded atelectasis, and diffuse pleural thickening were assessed in all patients.
RESULTS:
Prevalence of asbestosis, pleural plaque, rounded atelectasis, and diffuse pleural thickening was significantly higher in the BAPE group. Low-level irregularity was more common in the BAPE group (p<0.001), whereas high-level irregularity, mediastinal localization, and interlobar fissure were more prevalent in the eMPM group (p<0.001). Interlobar pleural irregularity was not observed in any patients in the BAPE group, although 55% of patients in the eMPM group showed interlobar pleural irregularity. Mediastinal pleural involvement was observed in 74% of patients in the eMPM group and had a positive predictive value of 89%. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that the level and localization of plural irregularities significantly differed between patients with BAPE and eMPM. Large-scale prospective studies are needed to fully establish the diagnostic utility of such differences.

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