Pleural Mesothelioma in a young male patient
AbstractWe present the case of a 33-year-old male patient suffering from lymphocytic pleural effusion, as a result of pleural mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the pleura that is mainly caused by chronic exposure to asbestos fibers and more than 40 years of exposure are needed to develop the disease. Early studies on the relationship of asbestos and mesothelioma were issued in the 1960s. Fibers migrate from the parenchyma of the lung to the visceral pleura. It is widely known that asbestos is an oncogenic factor which can cause damage to DNA. A chest x-ray may reveal pleural effusion with or without pleural thickening, whereas a chest CT may also reveal pleural thickening, uniform and/or lobular. Specific tests, such as immunohistochemical staining, are used in order to help differential diagnosis. Extrapleural pneumonectomy is used as a therapeutic option which involves removal of the lung as well as both the visceral and parietal pleura, the affected part of the pericardium and diaphragm. Surgery should be followed up by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The surgery may lead to a mean survival rate of approximately 9-21 months. The case presented underlines that in the event of pleural effusion with a lymphocyte type physicians should consider the possibility of a pleural mesothelioma during differential diagnosis, even in relatively young patients.
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