Nationwide and Florida Pericardial Mesothelioma Is Rare

Primary pericardial mesothelioma tumors, which originate in the sac surrounding the heart, are one of the rarest forms of the disease. In a study in the British Journal of Diseases of the Chest, the author G. Hillerdal noted that out of 4,710 cases of malignant mesothelioma that were studied, only 0.7 percent were pericardial mesothelioma.

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Pericardial Mesothelioma Too Rare to Research?

The rarity of this form of the disease means that there has been very little investigation into its characteristics. One of the most recent studies, titled Primary Pericardial Mesothelioma: Report of a Patient and Literature Review, examined 29 reported cases of pericardial mesothelioma found in a review of medical literature from 1993 to 2008. The researchers made the following observations about the disease:

  • There was a male-female ratio of 3:1
  • There was an even distribution of age range
  • The average age being 46 years old
  • The average survival time from diagnosis was six months

Just as in other forms of mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma starts as small nodules that group together to form a rind of tumor. Eventually, this rind will obliterate the pericardial cavity.

Pericardial Mesothelioma and Cardiac Tamponade

Pericardial mesothelioma causes what is known as cardiac tamponade. This is a condition in which fluid builds up in the sac around the heart. The accumulation of fluid can increase the pressure on the heart, preventing the lower chambers from filling correctly. The result is that the heart doesn’t pump blood effectively.

Diagnosing Pericardial Mesothelioma Requires Multiple Testing Avenues

Identifying pericardial mesothelioma can require an echocardiograph, CT scan, MRI and sometimes a chest x-ray. The Mayo Clinic, which has a facility for Florida pericardial mesothelioma treatment, conducted a study to determine the effectiveness of evaluating cardiac tumors with MRI. Results of testing suggest that MRI can effectively identify tumors and also provide diagnostic information that will affect disease management decisions or surgical planning.

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