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Pleural small cell lung cancer masquerading as malignant mesothelioma: A case report.

Nodular soft tissue pleural thickening on imaging is highly suggestive of malignancy, of which pleural malignant mesothelioma and metastatic disease are differentials. We present the case of a 71-year-old male who presented with acute worsening of shortness of breath associated with a recurrent left pleural effusion post-pleurocentesis. He was an ex-smoker with previous asbestos exposure. Computed tomography performed demonstrated left-sided pleural thickening in the hemithorax and hemidiaphragm with complex pleural effusion. 18 F-2-deoxy-d-glucose whole body PET scan revealed extensive uptake throughout the left hemithorax in multiple pleural masses. The imaging findings and clinical case were typical of malignant mesothelioma. However, histopathology results revealed small cell lung cancer. We need to be cognisant of this atypical presentation of a common disease entity. Even when all clinical and imaging findings point towards a certain diagnosis, histopathological assessment cannot be ignored.

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