Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: Are There Imaging Characteristics Associated With Different Histologic Subtypes on Computed Tomography?

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ObjectivesDetermine imaging characteristics specific to epithelioid (eMPM), sarcomatoid (sMPM), and biphasic (bMPM) subtypes of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) on computed tomography.MethodsPreoperative computed tomography scans of patients with MPM were retrospectively assessed for numerous features including primary affected side, volume loss, pleural thickness, pleural calcifications, pleural effusion, and lymphadenopathy.ResultsOne hundred twenty-five patients with MPM were included. Histologic subdivision was 97 eMPM (77%), 17 bMPM (14%), and 11 sMPM (9%). Nonepithelioid MPM (bMPM and sMPM) was more likely than eMPM to have calcified pleural plaques (P = 0.035). Analyzed separately, bMPM and sMPM each demonstrated calcified plaques more frequently than eMPM, and sMPM more often had internal mammary nodes; however, P values did not reach significance (P = 0.075 and 0.071, respectively).ConclusionsCalcified plaques are significantly more common in nonepithelioid subtypes compared with eMPM. Given the different prognoses and management of MPM subtypes, accurate noninvasive subtype classification is clinically vital.

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