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

Ernesto Pascotto, Alessandra Gianoncelli, Carla Calligaro, Thomas Marcuzzo, Mauro Melato, Clara Rizzardi, Lorella Pascolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35707-35714
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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