Uterine leiomyomas (or uterine fibroids), benign tumors of the uterine smooth muscle cells, can cause significant morbidity and impair quality of life in many women. For those who are asymptomatic, watchful waiting constitutes appropriate management. For women with symptomatic fibroids, hysterectomy and myomectomy are traditionally the standard treatments. In the last two decades, many alternatives to surgery for the management of fibroids have been developed. Most of the current medical treatments involve hormone manipulation. Newer treatments such as mifepristone, asoprisnil and aromatase inhibitors show promising results in fibroid symptom and size reduction; however, larger studies are needed. A safe and effective therapy as an alternative to hysterectomy is uterine artery embolization (UAE), which offers shorter recovery times and fewer major complications, though fertility and pregnancy outcomes after a UAE may be affected. Limited data are available for the efficacy and safety of temporary uterine artery occlusion. Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery (MRgFUS) is the newest treatment option for uterine fibroids. It also shows promising results for symptom relief. The degree of symptom relief depends significantly on the amount of fibroid volume that is non-perfused after treatment and the experience of the physician performing the procedure.
Keywords: Fibroids, hormones, NSAIDs, progestins, oral contraceptives, mifepristone, asoprisnil, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, uterine artery embolization, selective estrogen receptor modulators, transvaginal temporary uterine artery occlusion, magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery
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Published on: 01 March, 2012
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