Mesothelial tumors
Mesothelioma - clear cell variant

Topic Completed: 1 November 2013

Minor changes: 2 October 2019

Copyright: 2003-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Clear cell mesothelioma[mh]

See Also: Mesothelioma

Vaidehi Avadhani, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 261
Page views in 2020 to date: 193
Cite this page: Avadhani V. Mesothelioma - clear cell variant. website. Accessed May 24th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Form of epithelioid malignant mesothelioma containing polyhedral cells with clear cytoplasm
  • Awareness important to avoid misdiagnosis
  • Also called glycogen rich mesothelioma, lipid rich mesothelioma, foamy mesothelioma
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Primarily diffuse sheets of epithelial tumor cells with clear cytoplasm, distinct cell membranes and small nuclei
  • Brisk lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate, occasional papillary structures, psammoma bodies, necrosis
  • No glycogen or mucin, rare mitotic figures
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Round to polygonal epithelioid cells

Positive stains
Negative stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Neoplastic cells may show acinar arrangement; are joined by well developed desmosomes and by tight junctions at the luminal margin
  • Well defined basal lamina
  • Apical surface has numerous long, branching microvilli
  • Clear cell appearance has many causes, including intracytoplasmic glycogen, lipid, mitochondrial swelling, large number of microvesicles
Electron microscopy images

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Numerous slender and long surface microvilli

Differential diagnosis
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