A retrospective study of 10 cases of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma from two centers is reported. All cases were initially diagnosed between 1967 and 1986 utilizing laparoscopy and the histologic interpretation of laparoscopic biopsy samples. Subsequently, the original diagnosis was confirmed by two independent pathologists employing both histological and histochemical techniques. In five cases immunohistochemical studies were also performed. The clinical findings and course of the disease were similar to other reported series. Laparoscopic findings of mesothelioma were indistinguishible from metastatic peritoneal neoplasms. However, the presence of homogeneous spreading of nodules, plaques, or fleshy masses on both parietal and visceral peritoneum; the absence of direct or indirect signs of other abdominal neoplasms; and the absence of hepatic metastases or the possible presence of nodules or plaques on Glisson's capsule without any parenchymal involvement, when observed, allowed the laparoscopist to suspect the disease in four of 10 cases. Laparoscopy may be useful in detecting mesothelioma. The diagnosis is mainly morphological, but even morphology has its inherent limitations. Further studies are necessary to improve the diagnostic accuracy of this tumor.
- malignant peritoneal mesothelioma
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