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Abnormal uterine bleeding as a presenting symptom is related to multiple uterine leiomyoma: an ultrasound-based study

Authors Fonseca-Moutinho J, Barbosa LS, Torres DG, Nunes SM

Received 1 July 2013

Accepted for publication 17 August 2013

Published 18 October 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 689—694

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S50786

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4


José Alberto Fonseca-Moutinho,1,2 Lígia Silva Barbosa,1 Daniel Gonçalves Torres,1 Sara Morgado Nunes3

1Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Beira Interior University, Covilhã, Portugal; 2Child and Women Department, Cova da Beira Academic Medical Center, Covilhã, Portugal; 3Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco, Castelo Branco, Portugal

Purpose: To determine the prevalence of uterine leiomyomas, diagnosed by ultrasound, in a private health care setting located in the central eastern region of Portugal, and to explore the demographic and clinical factors related to diagnosis and symptomatology.
Patients and methods: The files of 624 patients attending a private clinic in Covilhã, Portugal, from January 2 to December 31, 2010 were retrieved for evaluation. Pelvic ultrasound record, age, weight, height, age at menarche, number of pregnancies and deliveries, marital status, menstrual cycles characteristic, and contraceptive method at consultation were included in the analysis.
Results: Uterine leiomyoma (UL) was diagnosed by ultrasonography in 161 (25.8%) patients. A single UL was diagnosed in 80 (49.7%) patients. In 79 (49.1%) patients, the largest leiomyoma had a dimension <20 mm. Prevalence of UL was age dependent: at 11.0% for women 20–39 years old; 45.4% for those aged 40–59 years; and 19.5% for women 60 years or older. Metrorrhagia was the most distressing presenting symptom. When menorrhagia was the presenting symptom, the probability of having an ultrasound diagnosis of UL was 73.3%. Metrorrhagia or menorrhagia, as presenting symptom, was significantly related to the ultrasound diagnosis of multiple ULs.
Conclusion: UL was especially prevalent in women aged between 40 and 59 years. Patients with multiple ULs had significantly more abnormal uterine bleeding. In patients with menorrhagia or metrorrhagia, special attention should be taken in searching for the presence of multiple ULs during ultrasound.

Keywords: fibroid, leiomyoma, prevalence, ultrasound, menorrhagia, metrorrhagia

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