Malignant pericardial mesothelioma. Report of two cases, review of the literature and differential diagnosis

Tumori. 2005 May-Jun;91(3):276-9. [Link]

Papi M, Genestreti G, Tassinari D, Lorenzini P, Serra S, Ricci M, Pasquini E, Nicolini M, Pasini G, Tamburini E, Fattori PP, Ravaioli A.

Department of Oncology, Infermi Hospital, Rimini, Italy.


Malignant pericardial mesothelioma is an uncommon variety of a primary malignant cardio-pericardial tumor and it is a highly lethal and fortunately rare cardiac neoplasm. The presentation of pericardial mesothelioma is aspecific and pathologically mesothelioma is not the most common among primary tumors of the pericardium. It is characterized by atypical solid growth of mesothelium with formation of atypical cavities surrounded by fibrous stroma. Antemortem diagnosis is difficult and distant metastases are extremely rare. Radical surgery can be used to treat localized mesothelioma. The treatment for advanced primary pericardial mesothelioma is usually palliative because the tumor is resistant to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The prognosis is unfavorable.The median survival from the onset of symptoms is six months. In this paper we report two cases of patients with primary mesothelioma of the pericardium without a definite history of asbestos exposure.