Fibroids (uterine myomatosis, leiomyomas)


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Substantive changes at this update

GnRHa plus tibolone versus GnRHa alone: New evidence added.[23][24] Categorisation unchanged (Likely to be beneficial).

Gonadorelin analogues alone: New evidence added.[27] Categorisation unchanged (Trade-off between benefits and harms).

Laparoscopic myomectomy: New evidence added.[52][53] Categorisation unchanged (Beneficial).

Laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy: New evidence added.[56][57] Categorisation unchanged (Likely to be beneficial).

Total vaginal hysterectomy: New evidence added.[56] Categorisation unchanged (Likely to be beneficial).

Uterine artery embolisation:New option added with one systematic review[63] and 4 subsequent RCTs.[64][65][66][67] Categorised as likely to be beneficial.


INTRODUCTION: Between 5% and 77% of women may have fibroids, depending on the method of diagnosis used. Fibroids may be asymptomatic, or may present with menorrhagia, pain, infertility, or recurrent pregnancy loss. Risk factors for fibroids include obesity, having no children, and no long-term use of the oral contraceptive pill. Fibroids tend to shrink or fibrose after the menopause. METHODS AND OUTCOMES: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of: medical treatment alone; preoperative medical treatments for women scheduled for surgery; and surgical treatments in women with fibroids? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to June 2009 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). RESULTS: We found 54 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions. CONCLUSIONS: In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: gonadorelin analogues (with progestogen, raloxifene, tibolone, or combined oestrogen–progestogen), hysterectomy (plus oophorectomy), hysteroscopic resonance-focused ultrasound, laparoscopic myomectomy, laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy, rollerball endometrial ablation, thermal balloon ablation, thermal myolysis with laser, total abdominal hysterectomy, total abdominal myomectomy, total laparoscopic hysterectomy, total vaginal hysterectomy, and uterine artery embolisation.

Cite as

Lethaby A, Vollenhoven B. Fibroids (uterine myomatosis, leiomyomas). Systematic review 814. BMJ Clinical Evidence. . 2011 January. Accessed [date].

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