[Peritoneal mesothelioma--incidence and etiology].


A total of 70 malignant and 4 benign peritoneal mesotheliomas were diagnosed by the German Mesothelioma Registry between 1992 and 1998. Malignant mesotheliomas developed mainly in men (55/70); only one man had a benign peritoneal alteration. Age at first diagnosis of malignant mesotheliomas is about 59 years; the women are on average 4 years younger than the men. Mean survival time ranges about 1 year; in 6 of 38 patients longer survival times of up to 7 years are known. The epitheloid subtype predominates, but no effect on survival time is noticed. The percentage of patients with combined asbestos-associated lung fibrosis is higher than that for pleural mesotheliomas; these patients become ill about 6.5 years earlier. The latency period is 36 years on average. For most patients asbestos exposure is related to their occupation mainly in metal industries, asbestos industries, and in the building trade. There is no evidence for an induction of benign peritoneal alterations by asbestos dust.

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