Diagnosis of mesothelioma

Diagnosis of Mesothelioma

The diagnosis of mesothelioma is generally established through anamnesis of asbestos exposure history, thoracic physical examination, and imaging such as computed tomography (CT) scan. 

However, confirmation of the diagnosis is usually done by Thoracoscopy-guided biopsy. Mesothelioma is also sometimes discovered accidentally through thoracic X-rays of asymptomatic patients.


Pleural mesothelioma patients may present with complaints that are not typical, for example, cough (usually dry cough), chest pain, dyspnea, hemoptoe, fatigue, fever, and night sweats.

Etiology of mesothelioma

The main etiology of mesothelioma that has been widely known and has been understood for its mechanism is asbestos exposure. Other risk factors such as smoking habits, genetic predisposition, infections, and radiation exposure can also play a role in the process of malignancy of mesothelial cells. 

However, these other factors still need further study. Asbestos exposure generally occurs directly through inhalation. In addition to work that comes into contact with asbestos, exposure to environments that are indirectly contaminated with asbestos (such as asbestos mining areas) can also be a risk of mesothelioma.


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Tan WW. Mesothelioma. Medscape. 2020. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/280367-overviewMott FE. Mesothelioma: a review. Ochsner J. 2012;12(1):70-79.

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