Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography 2018 April 2 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Escalon JG, Harrington KA, Plodkowski AJ, Zheng J, Capanu M, Zauderer MG, Rusch VW, Ginsberg MS


Determine imaging characteristics specific to epithelioid (eMPM), sarcomatoid (sMPM), and biphasic (bMPM) subtypes of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) on computed tomography.

Preoperative computed tomography scans of patients with MPM were retrospectively assessed for numerous features including primary affected side, volume loss, pleural thickness, pleural calcifications, pleural effusion, and lymphadenopathy.

One hundred twenty-five patients with MPM were included. Histologic subdivision was 97 eMPM (77%), 17 bMPM (14%), and 11 sMPM (9%). Nonepithelioid MPM (bMPM and sMPM) was more likely than eMPM to have calcified pleural plaques (P = 0.035). Analyzed separately, bMPM and sMPM each demonstrated calcified plaques more frequently than eMPM, and sMPM more often had internal mammary nodes; however, P values did not reach significance (P = 0.075 and 0.071, respectively).

Calcified plaques are significantly more common in nonepithelioid subtypes compared with eMPM. Given the different prognoses and management of MPM subtypes, accurate noninvasive subtype classification is clinically vital.