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July 1964

Primary Mesothelioma Of the Pericardium: A Case in a 20-Month-Old Infant

Author Affiliations

Robert E. Burr, MD, Department of Pathology, Vanderbilt Hospital, Nashville, Tenn 37205.; From the Department of Pathology, Vanderbilt University Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1964;108(1):98-103. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1964.02090010100014

Mesothelioma of the pericardium is an uncommon tumor at any age but has not been reported in infancy. Of the 30 cases recorded in the English literature1-9 the patients vary in age from 8 to 79 years with the greatest incidence in the third and fourth decades. This case is reported because it represents the earliest known occurrence of such a tumor and delineates another cause of cardiac enlargement in the very young.

Report of a Case  The patient, a 20-month-old white male, was apparently in good health until six months prior to admission when he developed anorexia and failed to gain weight. Three months prior to admission he began to have episodes of palpitation and dyspnea which progressed over the following months. During this time he was treated for "asthma and bronchitis" without improvement. Two days prior to admission, he became severely dyspneic, perspired excessively, and wheezed audibly.