The Challenges of Treating Mesothelioma in the Heart

The Challenges of Treating Mesothelioma in the Heart

Researchers from Sahloul Hospital in Tunisia shared the case of a 44-year-old woman with a very rare diagnosis of sarcomatous mesothelioma of the heart.

A Rare Diagnosis with Dire Consequences

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that grows in the lining of the lungs and abdominal cavity. In rare instances, it can also develop in other areas like the heart. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, which is a toxic mineral.

Mesothelioma in the heart only occurs in less than 0.7% of all mesothelioma cases. The symptoms usually look like other, more common, heart conditions. People with mesothelioma in their hearts might feel heart palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pains.

Since the heart is such a delicate and important organ, the treatment options are limited, and the prognosis is poor.

Because mesothelioma in the heart is so rare, cases like this one are important for learning more about how to treat this disease.

Understanding Mesothelioma’s Impact on This Vital Organ

In this case, the woman went to the hospital because she was having trouble breathing, experiencing heart palpitations, and fainting. Tests showed a tumor in her heart, which was causing problems with her heart valves and function.

The doctors performed urgent surgery to remove the tumor and repair the affected heart valves. Unfortunately, the tumor came back later, and the patient did not survive.

This case is important because mesothelioma in the heart is very rare, and there have been only a few cases reported in medical literature. This case suggests that when a patient has a large tumor in their heart, quick surgery might be needed to prevent serious problems.

However, completely removing the tumor may not always be possible. In some cases, less invasive surgery or other treatments might be used to relieve symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life. Overall, the prognosis for this condition is not good, and more research is needed to find effective treatments.


Rouabeh W, Cherif T, Mgarrech I, Ajmi N, Kortas C, Jerbi S. Case report and analysis of the literature on sarcomatous mesothelioma of the left atrium [published online ahead of print, 2023 Jul 21]. Int J Surg Case Rep. 2023;109:108537. doi:10.1016/j.ijscr.2023.108537. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37517251/

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