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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

“Malignant mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis: comprehensive review of literature and

A new paper in the Journal of Urology is well titled for what’s in it: "Malignant mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis: comprehensive review of literature and case report." The full paper is free online, and includes the ability to download a useful chart that summarizes findings. The discussion section states the following:

"Malignant mesothelioma was first described by Barbera and Rubino6 in 1957; 53 such cases were found in the literature up to 1995 by Jones et al., 10 cases were found by Bisceglia et al. when he performed a literature review up to 2009, but we found 24 reported cases after the paper of Bisceglia et al.54 not including our case, giving a total of 248 cases reported so far.

Malignant mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis is present in 0.3–5.0% of cases of malignant mesothelioma.7,8 Mesothelioma in general is an uncommon malignancy arising from the epithelial membranes of the coelomic cavities, such as the pleura, pericardium and peritoneum. Mesotheliomas of the pleural and peritoneal cavity are relatively more common than scrotal tumours, which arise from the tunica, an outpouching of the abdominal peritoneum.

An association with asbestos exposure is present in 31%–41% of cases.3,10 Asbestos is a heat-resistant material that exhibits superior durability and economy, and hence is still widely used in construction.

We conducted a comprehensive review of literature based both on a CD-Medline search of the literature and on the reference lists of published articles and we found 84 reported cases not including our case, 64 cases in which the patient presented at age 40 years or more. In our review, we found 16 cases that were associated with asbestos exposure, 42 cases without and 27 cases that were not specified (see Table 1)."


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