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Open Access Open Badges Case Report

Primary pleural angiosarcoma as a mimicker of mesothelioma: a case report

Yu-Chien Kao1, Jyh-Ming Chow2, Kum-Min Wang3, Chia-Lang Fang1, Jan-Show Chu4 and Chi-Long Chen1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan

2 Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan

3 Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan

4 Department of Pathology, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taiwan

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Citation and License

Diagnostic Pathology 2011, 6:130  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-6-130

Published: 30 December 2011


Primary pleural angiosarcoma is a rare and clinically aggressive tumor. Patients usually present with chest pain, dyspnea, hemoptysis and/or cough. Radiologic studies reveal diffuse pleural thickening and pleural effusion with or without mass lesion. The clinical and radiological features both resemble those of mesothelioma, and its definite diagnosis requires careful histologic examination. However, frequent epithelioid feature and immunoreactivity to cytokeratin in primary pleural angiosarcoma further complicate the pathologic diagnosis. The use of proper immunohistochemical stains is often needed to support endothelial differentiation in the tumor cells and to exclude metastatic carcinoma and mesothelioma. We report the case of a 49-year-old male patient with primary pleural angiosarcoma, who presented with initial hemothorax, followed by a rapid progress to an inoperable status.

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angiosarcoma; pleura; mesothelioma; sarcoma; pathology