Pericardial Mesothelioma

What is Pericardial Mesothelioma?

Pericardial mesothelioma is the cancer of the pericardium, that is, the tissues that form the heart lining. These tissues form the lubricating fluid that protects the heart and allows it to move freely. It is the rarest type of mesothelioma accounting for 5 to 10% of the cases.

The other two common forms are pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma. Some medical professionals consider pericardial mesothelioma a type of pleural mesothelioma.

What is Pericardial Effusion?

Pericardial Effusion may or may not indicate mesothelioma. It is the effusion or collection of fluid in the sac that surrounds the heart. If the cause of the effusion is cancer, it could have spread in two ways: 

  • Metastatic spread of cancer from other parts of the body.

  • Direct spread of cancer from the adjacent infected parts like lungs.

A sample of this fluid is generally taken for diagnosis of the disease. The process of drawing put the fluid is called pericardiocentesis.

What are the symptoms? 

  • Chest pain

  • Breathlessness

  • Cough

  • Dyspnea

  • Palpitations

What are the causes?

Although exposure to asbestos fibres, like pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, is the most probable cause of pericardial mesothelioma, its definite association is yet to be established.

How is it diagnosed?

Pericardial mesothelioma, like pleural, can be detected by an X-Ray or a CT Scan, but actual diagnosis can only be done through a biopsy.

Is it curable?

Depending on the size and stage of the tumour, treatments range from chemotherapy and surgery to a combination of therapies called multimodial therapy.

Other related links-

Pleural Mesothelioma

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Asbestos Fibres

Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Mesothelioma Treatment


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