Metastatic malignant mesothelioma presenting as colonic polyps

Hum Pathol. 1997 Aug;28(8):993-5. doi: 10.1016/s0046-8177(97)90018-6.


A 66-year-old male engineer diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma 4 years previously had thoracotomy, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. He was followed regularly with chest computed tomography (CT) scan and had been asymptomatic. During one of his physical examinations, routine sigmoidoscopy showed incidental colonic polyps which were biopsied. Subsequently, recurrence of pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal involvement by mesothelioma was documented. Two of the polyps showed metastatic malignant mesothelioma in the lamina propia which strongly resembled adenocarcinoma histologically causing difficulty in making definitive diagnosis. Review of the literature disclosed no previously documented similar occurrence. This case shows the importance of clinical history and ancillary laboratory procedures such as immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy to avoid diagnostic pitfalls.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Colonic Polyps / pathology*
  • Colonic Polyps / secondary*
  • Colonic Polyps / ultrastructure
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / pathology*
  • Mesothelioma / secondary
  • Mesothelioma / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / ultrastructure
  • Pleural Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pleural Neoplasms / ultrastructure