Primary pericardial mesothelioma unique case and literature review

Tex Heart Inst J. 2012;39(2):261-4.


A 72-year-old woman, on warfarin therapy and with a remote history of breast cancer and radiation treatment, presented with a 10-day history of nausea, dyspnea, dry cough, and dizziness. An electrocardiogram showed new-onset atrial fibrillation. Computed tomography of the chest revealed multiple pulmonary emboli and a pericardial effusion. Echocardiography showed a pericardial effusion with tamponade characteristics. The patient's condition deteriorated, and a pericardiectomy was performed. Histologic evaluation confirmed primary pericardial mesothelioma. She underwent palliative treatment and died 3 months after discharge from the hospital. We discuss the patient's case and the nature of primary pericardial mesothelioma, a rare oncologic entity.

Keywords: Cardiac tamponade/etiology; fatal outcome; heart neoplasms/complications/diagnosis/pathology/ultrasonography; mesothelioma/complications/diagnosis/pathology; pericardial effusion/etiology; pericardiectomy; pulmonary embolism/pathology.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • Cardiac Tamponade / etiology
  • Echocardiography, Doppler, Pulsed
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Heart Neoplasms* / chemistry
  • Heart Neoplasms* / complications
  • Heart Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Heart Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mesothelioma* / chemistry
  • Mesothelioma* / complications
  • Mesothelioma* / diagnosis
  • Mesothelioma* / surgery
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary*
  • Palliative Care
  • Pericardial Effusion / etiology
  • Pericardiectomy
  • Pericardium / pathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers, Tumor