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Synonyms and Keywords: Uterine myoma; Fibroid; Fibroids; Uterine; Fibroid Tumor; Fibroid Uterus; Uterine fibromyoma; Leiomyomata
Uterine leiomyoma was first discovered by Hippocrates in 460-375 B.C and called it “uterine stone”. Uterine leiomyoma may be classified according to their location into 3 subtypes: submucosal, subserous, and intramural. The pathogenesis of leiomyoma is characterized by benign smooth muscle neoplasm. They can occur in any organ, but the most common forms occur in the uterus, small bowel and the esophagus. Chromosome aberrations such as t(12; 14)(q14-q15;q23–24), del(7)(q22q32), rearrangements involving 6p21, 10q, trisomy 12, and deletions of 1p3q has been associated with the development of leiomyoma. Uterine leiomyoma must be differentiated from other diseases that cause uterine mass, such as: uterine adenomyoma, pregnancy, hematometra, uterine sarcoma, uterine carcinosarcoma, and metastasis. Leiomyoma is more commonly observed among patients aged 40 years and older. Common risk factors in the development of uterine leiomyoma include African-American race, early menarche, prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol, having one or more pregnancies extending beyond 20 weeks, obesity, significant consumption of beef and other red meats, hypertension, family history, and alcohol consumption. Physical examination may be remarkable for enlarged, mobile uterus with an irregular contour on bimanual pelvic examination. The mainstay of therapy for uterine leiomyoma is oral contraceptive pills, either combination pills or progestin-only, Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs. Surgery is also part of mainstay therapy for uterine leiomyoma.
- Uterine leiomyoma was first discovered by Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician, in 460-375 B.C and called it “uterine stone”.
- In the second century AD, Galen described the lesion as "scleromas".
- In 1860 and 1863, Rokitansky and Klob coined the term fibroid.
- In 1854, Virchow, a German pathologist, demonstrated that those tumors originated from the uterine smooth muscle.
- In 1809, the first laparotomy was conducted by Ephraim McDowell to treat leiomyoma in Danville, USA.
- Uterine leiomyoma may be classified according to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) classification system, based on their location in the uterus, into 8 subtypes:
- Intramural myomas
- FIGO types 3, 4, and 5
- Located within the uterine wall
- Submucosal myomas
- Subserosal myomas
- Cervical myomas
- Intramural myomas
- Leiomyoma may be classified according to histology features into two subtypes of bening and malignant:
- Mitotically active leiomyomas
- Myxoid leiomyomas
- Epithelioid leiomyomas
- Dissecting leiomyomas
- Neoplasm with uncertain clinical behavior
- Smooth muscle tumors of uncertain malignant potential
- Leiomyoma with bizarre nuclei
- Cellular leiomyomas
- Neoplasm with extrauterine disease
- Leiomyomatosis peritonealis disseminata
- Intravenous leiomyomatosis
- Benign metastasizing leiomyomas
- Multiorgan or primary extrauterine neoplasms
- The pathogenesis of leiomyoma is characterized by benign smooth muscle neoplasm. They can occur in any organ, but the most common forms occur in the uterus, small bowel and the esophagus.
- It is thought that leiomyoma is the result of either transformation of normal uterine muscle cells into abnormal cells through somatic mutations, or through the growth of abnormal uterine muscle cells into tumors.
- Genetic mutations involved in the pathogenesis of leiomyoma include: 
- On gross pathology, round, well circumscribed, non-encapsulated, solid white or tan nodules, and whorled are characteristic findings of leiomyoma.
- On microscopic histopathological analysis, elongated and spindle-shaped cells with a cigar-shaped nucleus are characteristic findings of leiomyoma.
- Chromosome aberrations in uterine leiomyoma include:
- Deletion of (7)(q22q32)
- Rearrangements involving 6p21, 10q
- Trisomy 12
- Deletion of 1p3q have been associated with the development of leiomyoma
Differentiating Leiomyoma from other Diseases
Leiomyoma is a cause of abnormal uterine bleeding and can result in infertility. There are several diseases which can result in excessive uterine bleeding and the following table is a description of various causes of excessive uterine bleeding.
Epidemiology and Demographics
- Leiomyoma commonly affects individuals between menarche and menopause.
- The incidence increases with age during reproductive years.
- Leiomyoma usually affects African-American women.
- Incidence rates are approximately threefold greater in African-American women than in white women.
- Common risk factors in the development of uterine leiomyoma include:
Natural History, Complications and Prognosis
- The majority of patients with uterine leiomyoma remain asymptomatic for a long time; they are usually found incidentally on imaging or examined after patients start having symptoms.
- Studies have shown that 7 to 40% of premenopausal patients with leiomyoma may witness regression of fibroids over 6 months to 3 years.
- At menopause most fibroids will start to shrink as menstrual cycles stop and hormone levels wane.
- Common complications of uterine leiomyoma include:
- Less common complications of uterine leiomyoma include:
Diagnostic Study of Choice
- The diagnosis of uterine leiomyoma is based on a clinical diagnosis, which includes a pelvic exam and pelvic ultrasound finding of leiomyomas.
- A pelvic ultrasound is indicated when patients suffer from symptoms of leiomyoma.
- A biopsy is usually not needed to make the diagnosis, but should be performed if clinician is suspicious that the mass is not a fibroid.
- The majority of patients with leiomyoma are usually asymptomatic.
- Symptoms of uterine leiomyoma may include the following:
- Common physical examination findings of uterine leiomyoma include enlarged, mobile uterus with an irregular contour on bimanual pelvic examination.
- Pelvic ultrasound is helpful in the diagnosis of uterine leiomyoma.
- Findings on an ultrasound diagnostic of uterine leiomyoma include fibroids as focal masses with a heterogeneous texture, which usually cause shadowing of the ultrasound beam.
Other Diagnostic Studies
- Uterine leiomyoma may also be diagnosed using diagnostic hysteroscopy, magnetic resonance imaging, and hysterosalpingography.
- Uterine leiomyomas usually shrink and regress during menopause and the postpartum period.
- Literature is lacking concerning the medical therapy for leiomyoma, and due to their self-limited nature, expectant management is considered in some cases.
- Pharmacologic medical therapy in the form of oral contraceptives is recommended among premenopausal patients with mild symptoms and mildly enlarged uteri.
- Pharmacologic medical therapies for leiomyoma include:
- Surgery is the mainstay of therapy for uterine leiomyoma.
- Uterine artery embolization in conjunction with laparotomic myomectomy is the most common approach to the treatment of leiomyoma.
- Hysteroscopic myomectomy can also be performed for patients with uterine leiomyoma.
- Surgical indications of leiomyoma include followings:
- There is different types of surgery for leiomyoma include followings:
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