Malignant Mesothelioma of the Peritoneum in Women: A Clinicopathologic Study of 164 Cases

Am J Surg Pathol. 2021 Jan;45(1):45-58. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0000000000001545.


Malignant mesothelioma of the peritoneum in women is an uncommon tumor. In this study, we present the clinicopathologic features of 164 such cases seen in our institution over a period of 42 years (1974-2016). Clinical information, pathologic findings, immunohistochemical results, and follow-up were recorded. Hematoxylin and eosin-stained slides were reviewed in all cases. Patients ranged in age from 3 to 85 years, median: 49 years. Most patients presented with abdominal/pelvic pain, although some were asymptomatic, presented with paraneoplastic syndromes or cervical lymphadenopathy. Overall, 9% of patients had a history of direct or indirect exposure to asbestos. In total, 31% and 69% of patients had either a personal or family history of other tumors; most of these tumors are currently recognized as part of a syndrome. Genetic testing information was available in 5 patients: BAP-1 germline mutation (1), type 2 neurofibromatosis (1), Lynch syndrome (1), McCune-Albright syndrome (1), no BAP-1 or TP53 mutation (1). Most cases had gross and microscopic features typical of malignant mesothelioma of the peritoneum in women; however, some had confounding features such as gelatinous appearance, signet ring or clear cells, and well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma-like areas. Calretinin and WT-1 were the markers more frequently expressed, and up to 23% of the cases showed PAX-8 expression. Patients' treatments predominantly included: chemotherapy, cytoreductive surgery, and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. On multivariate analysis, the predominance of deciduoid cells, nuclear grade 3, and the absence of surgical treatment were associated with worse overall survival (OS). For all patients, the 3- and 5-year OS were 74.3% and 57.4%, respectively. The 3- and 5-year OS for patients treated with cytoreductive surgery, and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy were 88.9% and 77.8%, respectively.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma, Malignant / mortality
  • Mesothelioma, Malignant / pathology*
  • Mesothelioma, Malignant / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Young Adult