Study objectives: Asbestos fibers have not been
reported in tissues from the peritoneal cavity. Therefore, omentum,
mesentery, and lung tissues from 20 individuals in whom mesothelioma
was diagnosed were analyzed for asbestos bodies and asbestos
Design: Tissue was digested and prepared
filters were analyzed by light microscopy and analytical transmission
Results: Asbestos bodies were
found in the lungs of 18 individuals, mesentery samples from 5, and
omentum samples from 2. Uncoated asbestos fibers were found in lungs of
19 patients, 17 of whom had fibers in at least one extrapulmonary site.
The most common asbestos in the omentum and mesentery was amosite.
Several features of asbestos found in lung influenced the likelihood of
amphibole fibers being found in the omentum or mesentery. Lung features
included total amphibole fiber burden, length, aspect ratio, and
ferruginous body burden. An increased total ferruginous body burden was
strongly associated with increased likelihood of detecting amphiboles
in the omentum (p < 0.05).
fibers reach areas in the peritoneal cavity where some mesotheliomas
develop. This study suggests their presence can be predicted based on
concentrations and characteristics of fiber burdens in lung