What causes pseudomesotheliomatous carcinoma?

Updated: Dec 25, 2019
  • Author: Joseph F Tomashefski, Jr, MD; more...
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The etiology of pseudomesotheliomatous lung cancer is probably similar to that of primary lung adenocarcinoma in general, with tobacco smoke exposure the most important factor.

Previous investigators, including Hammar and Dodson, Koss et al, and Attanoos and Gibbs, have also noted that a high proportion of patients with pseudomesotheliomatous adenocarcinoma have a background of occupational exposure to asbestos. [4, 24, 25, 26] However, it is not currently certain if there is a truly increased incidence of pseudomesotheliomatous adenocarcinoma in asbestos-exposed individuals. [3] Possible explanations for this putative association between pseudomesotheliomatous lung cancer and asbestos exposure may be referral bias in reported series or more intense interrogation regarding asbestos exposure owing to the clinical presentation suggesting mesothelioma. [3]

Rare isolated reports also describe pseudomesotheliomatous adenocarcinoma in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection; however, a causal relationship is uncertain. [27]

A single case of pulmonary pseudomesotheliomatous adenocarcinoma has also been described in a patient with scleroderma. [28]

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