The diagnosis of thoracic malignant mesothelioma: Practical considerations and recent developments

Maxwell Smith, Thomas Colby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Pleural biopsies for the evaluation of malignant mesothelioma can be some of the most challenging cases faced by the practicing surgical pathologist. We review the epidemiology, clinical presentation, and imaging studies in patients with malignant mesothelioma, and then present a practical approach to the diagnosis using the cytologic features for malignancy and whether there is an epithelioid or spindled morphology; four main scenarios are discussed. The pertinent immunohistochemical work-up is reviewed for each scenario. Following this general overview, more unusual histologic patterns are compared and unusual presentations are discussed. Brief mention of grading systems for malignant mesothelioma and the use of electron microscopy and molecular studies is made. Practical considerations in the diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma are made throughout.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalTurk Patoloji Dergisi/Turkish Journal of Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Differential diagnosis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mesothelioma
  • Pathology
  • Thoracic neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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