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Ferruginous bodies resolved by synchrotron XRF in a dog with peritoneal malignant mesothelioma


Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor mainly correlated to occupational asbestos exposure. Rare reports describe its occurrence also in animals, mainly linked to asbestos in the environment. Asbestos exposure is demonstrated by the appearance of characteristic histological hallmarks: asbestos containing ferruginous bodies that are iron-based structures forming around fibers and also other dust particles. Here we present a clinical case of a suspect of mesothelioma in the peritoneum of a dog with parallel histological observation of ferruginous bodies. To possibly correlate the dog tumor to environmental exposure, we performed X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyses at two different synchrotrons to resolve the ferruginous bodies’ composition. While the histological examination diagnoses a tubulo-papillary mesothelioma, the XRF analyses show that ferruginous bodies contain Si particles, resembling formations of exogenous origin; however, the morphology is unlikely that of asbestos fibers. We speculate that the peritoneal mesothelioma of this dog could be related to environmental exposure to non-asbestos material.

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The authors acknowledge a grant from Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, Commissione Amianto FVG, 2015. They are grateful to Elettra and the Australian Synchrotron for granting beamtimes. Part of this research was undertaken on the XFM beamline at the Australian Synchrotron, Victoria, Australia. The authors are grateful to the Australian Synchrotron for providing the beamtime and to D. Paterson, D. Howard, M. de Jonge, and K. Spiers for technical support at the XFM beamline.

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Correspondence to Lorella Pascolo.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Pascotto, E., Gianoncelli, A., Calligaro, C. et al. Ferruginous bodies resolved by synchrotron XRF in a dog with peritoneal malignant mesothelioma. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 35707–35714 (2018).

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  • Ferruginous bodies
  • Synchrotron XRF microscopy
  • Dog
  • Mesothelioma
  • X-ray microscopy
  • Silicon