Diagnosis of Mesothelioma

Surg Pathol Clin. 2020 Mar;13(1):73-89. doi: 10.1016/j.path.2019.10.001. Epub 2019 Dec 3.


Mesothelioma is a rare neoplasm that arises from mesothelial cells lining body cavities including the pleura, pericardium, peritoneum, and tunica vaginalis. Most malignant mesotheliomas occur in the chest and are frequently associated with a history of asbestos exposure. The diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma is challenging and fraught with pitfalls, particularly in small biopsies. This article highlights what the pathologist needs to know regarding the clinical and radiographic presentation of mesothelioma, histologic features including subtypes and variants, and recent advances in immunohistochemical markers and molecular testing.

Keywords: Epithelioid; Mesothelioma; Pleural effusion; Reactive mesothelial proliferation; Sarcomatoid.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mesothelioma / diagnosis*
  • Mesothelioma / diagnostic imaging
  • Mesothelioma / pathology
  • Radiography
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed