Kyobu Geka. 2007 Jan;60(1):35-9. [Link]

Katsuragi N, Shiraishi Y, Kita H, Toishi M, Miyasaka Y, Tanaka S.

Section of Chest Surgery, Fukujuji Hospital, Kiyose, Japan.


Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an uncommon neoplasm that caused 647 deaths in Japan in 2004. The incidence of the disease is increasing and is estimated to reach its peak in 2025. We reviewed the clinical features in 11 consecutive patients with pathologically confirmed diffuse malignant pleural mesothelioma in our institution from January 1997 to December 2002. Of the 11 patients, 9 were male and 2 were female with a mean age of 66 (range, 55 to 90) years. Symptoms included dyspnea in 4 patients, chest pain in 3, dyspnea plus chest pain in 2, and cough in 2. Median period between symptom onset and presentation was 1 (range, 0 to 6) month. A history of asbestos exposure was identified in 3 patients and suspected in 5. A definitive diagnosis was made by closed pleural biopsy in 8 patients, pleural fluid cytology in 2, and autopsy in 1. Histological subtypes included epithelioid in 6 patients, sarcomatoid in 2, biphasic in 1, and unknown in 2. International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG) staging included stage II in 6 patients, stage III in 3, and stage IV in 2. Median period between presentation and diagnosis was 1 (range, 0 to 22) month. Treatment included intrapleural chemotherapy in 4 patients, extrapleural pneumonectomy in 3, pleural drainage in 2, and best supportive care in 2. During the follow-up period, 9 patients died and 2 survived. Median survival time after diagnosis was 3 (range, 0 to 51) months. Of the 11 patients, 7 (64%) died within 6 months after the first presentation, and only 1 (9%) lived longer than 2 years after diagnosis.