Asbestos fibres detected by scanning electron microscopy in the gallbladder of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM)

J Microsc. 2017 Apr;266(1):48-54. doi: 10.1111/jmi.12517. Epub 2017 Jan 9.


Gallbladders from patients affected by both malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and important gallbladder disorders were analyzed to verify the presence of asbestos fibres. Histological thin sections were analyzed by optical microscope and variable pressure scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive spectroscopy, allowing morphological and chemical characterization of each inorganic phase observed. Fibres of chrysotile and crocidolite, minerals regulated as asbestos, were identified. By immunohistochemical analysis, connective tissue was recognized as the incorporation site. These findings confirm that asbestos fibres can reach the gallbladders of patients with MPM, for whom the development of respiratory diseases confirms asbestos exposure.

Keywords: Asbestos; asbestos exposure; gallbladder; scanning electron microscopy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Asbestos / analysis*
  • Female
  • Gallbladder / pathology*
  • Gallbladder Diseases / pathology*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications*
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / complications*
  • Mesothelioma, Malignant
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning*
  • Pleural Neoplasms / complications*
  • Spectrometry, X-Ray Emission


  • Asbestos