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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Thoracic Endoscopy
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Minerva Pneumologica 2006 December;45(4):207-13

language: Italian

Malignant pleural mesothelioma: a retrospective survey on 117 patients

Agostini L. 1, Cavazza A. 2, Romanelli A. 3, Ferrari G. 1, Armaroli L. 4, Fiore G. 4, Lasagni L. 1, Sgarbi G. 5, Zucchi L. 1

1 U.O. di Pneumologia Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova Azienda Ospedaliera di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia
2 U.O di Anatomia Patologica Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova Azienda Ospedaliera di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia
3 Registro Mesoteliomi Regione Emilia-Romagna
4 U.O. Radioterapia Oncologica Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova Azienda Ospedaliera di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia
5 U.O. di Chirurgia Toracica, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova Azienda Ospedaliera di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia


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Aim. In the District of Reggio Emilia it is noticed a high incidence of malignant mesothelioma (MM) of the pleura. The aim of our review is to underline some clinical, epidemolocical, diagnostic and therapeutic peculiarities that appeared by the confrontation of the parameters deduced by our series collected in the last 15 years and by the parameters reported in other series.
Methods. The survey analyzed 117 patients hospitalized in Reggio Emilia hospital who received a histological diagnosis of MM of the pleura. The 2/3 of them received their diagnosis in the department of Pulmonogy of the hospital of Reggio Emilia, the rest of them received it in other departments of our hospital and afterwards they were evaluated by us. The aspects we considered are: the asbestos exposure, the clinical manifestations, the diagnostic approach, the treatment and the survival.
Results. The asbestos exposure of patients presents a diversification of intensity and modality. The chest physician’s diagnostic and therapeutic approach respect to other clinicians is culturally different. The diagnostic reliability of the blind percutaneous needle biopsy results then revaluated. We can confirm that, on non-selected series, the prognosis is almost constantly poor, independently from the treatment, and that the survival on younger patients with epithelial MM is relatively higher. The effectiveness of the prophylactic radiotherapy following any invasive procedures and of the palliative radiotherapy is then demonstrated.
Conclusion. From the survey of our series of pleural MM results some peculiarities relatively to other series already published.

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