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01.12.2017 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2017

A second case of pericardial mesothelioma mimicking systemic lupus erythematosus in the literature in over 30 years: a case report

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2017
Autoren:
Carolina Mensi, Alessandro Romano, Alvise Berti, Roberto Dore, Luciano Riboldi

Abstract

Background

Mesothelioma is a rare neoplasm which commonly develops in the pleura of people exposed to asbestos. Pericardial mesothelioma accounts for only 0.7 % of all malignant mesotheliomas and it usually presents with pericardial effusion, mimicking serositis. To date, there are approximately 200 cases of pericardial mesothelioma described in the medical literature, and little knowledge exists about the systemic manifestations of this pathology. The first and only described case of pericardial mesothelioma with autoimmune features dates back to 1984 and, in our case report, we describe the second.

Case presentation

We report a case of a 45-year-old white woman whose pericardial mesothelioma was initially misdiagnosed as pericardial involvement of an autoimmune disease (systemic lupus erythematosus). After several relapses of pericardial effusion, a computed tomography scan and a biopsy with histological analysis were performed revealing neoplastic growth.

Conclusions

We describe a rare case of pericardial mesothelioma in a patient with a clinical presentation compatible with lupus serositis. Clinicians should consider malignant mesothelioma in the differential diagnosis of pericardial effusion, especially when it is recurrent and not clearly explained by other causes. Cytological samples should always be obtained and, if imaging tools are suggestive for solid processes, histological confirmation is mandatory.

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