An autopsy case of primary pericardial mesothelioma in arc cutter exposed to asbestos through talc pencils

Industrial Health. 2005 Apr;43(2):346-50. [Link]

Fujiwara H, Kamimori T, Morinaga K, Takeda Y, Kohyama N, Miki Y, Inai K, Yamamoto S.

Yodogawa Christian Hospital, 2-9-26, Awaji, Higashiyodogawa-ku, Osaka 533-0032, Japan.


An autopsy case of a primary pericardial mesothelioma in a 53-year-old arc cutter is reported. He had often had the chance to inhale dust generated by sharpening the slate pencils composed of talc. He was admitted for heart failure due to pericardial tumor, but later died. The tumor was mainly located on the pericardium with a thickness of about 2.5 cm. Small nodular disseminations were observed in the left parietal pleura. Microscopically, tumor cells were epithelial-like and rich in histochemical demonstrable hyaluronic acid. Findings of immunohistochemical markers revealed keratin (+), EMA (+), calretinin (+), and CEA (-), which were characteristics of mesothelioma of epithelial type. The number of asbestos bodies (AB) in the lung parenchyma was increased (2026 AB/gram dry lung tissue). Subsequent transmission electron microscopic examination equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray analyzer revealed that the fibers identified in the lungs were fibrous talc and actinolite. These findings suggested that this patient had been occupationally exposed to asbestos contaminated in the talc pencils, which induced the development of primary pericardial mesothelioma.