[Malignant mesothelioma of the pleura with etiological association to asbestos: report of 3 clinical cases].

Revista da Associacao Medica Brasileira (1992)

PubMedID: 9497555

de Capitani EM, Metze K, Frazato Júnior C, Altemani AM, Zambom L, Toro IF, Bagatin E. [Malignant mesothelioma of the pleura with etiological association to asbestos: report of 3 clinical cases]. Rev Assoc Med Bras. 1998;43(3):265-72.
Diffuse Malign Mesotheliomas (DMM) has a low background prevalence. High incidences of this tumor have been related to asbestos exposure in the past.

To describe and discuss three clinical cases treated in our hospital, in which precise histopathologic diagnosis was made, and detailed occupational and environmental histories were taken, trying to identify in their past some kind of asbestos exposure.

Three cases of DMM are described. Diagnosis was confirmed by histochemical analysis and electronmicroscopy. Detailed occupational and environmental histories were taken from subjects and their families, searching for past contact with asbestos.

The cases were diagnosed in a short period of time (two years), in a region of the country where many asbestos cement plants are located since the mid sixties. Skillful histological procedures were used. From these cases we found out that one had a twelve months period of exposure, 24 years before, in one of those plants. Another patient had an exposure for three years, as a bystander, in the same plant (also 24 years before) and a third patient was contaminated by asbestos brought home by his father in the 1950s (latency period of 30 years). All cases were histochemically studied and diagnosis confirmed by the presence of microvilli at electronmicroscopic examination.

These three cases seem to confirm the existence of the epidemiologic association with asbestos exposure in our country. Definition of diagnosis criteria, centralization of cases registry and the necessity of more attention to this kind of asbestos related disease are discussed and stressed, as many new cases like those described are thought to occur in the near future, as the latency period of the disease seems to match with that of industrial asbestos manipulation in Brazil.