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Obstetrics & Gynecology: July 1993
Original Article: PDF Only

Objective: To evaluate myomas for ultrasound-documented size, location, position, and relation to the placenta, and to relate these findings to complications during pregnancy, at delivery, and in the puerperium.

Methods: Among 12,708 pregnant patients who had ultrasound scans, 492 had uterine myomas. Single myomas were found in 88% of cases and multiple myomas in 12%. The myomas were evaluated for size, number, position, location, relationship to the placenta, and echogenic structure, and the outcome of pregnancy was compared to that of patients in the control group.

Results: A statistically significant increased incidence of threatened abortion, threatened preterm delivery, abruptio placentae, and pelvic pain was observed in patients with uterine myomas (P<.001). Abruptio placentae was particularly evident in women with myoma volumes greater than 200 cm3, submucosal location, or superimposition of the placenta. Pelvic pain was related to myoma volume greater than 200 cm3 and ultrasound findings of heterogeneous echo patterns and cystic areas. Mode of delivery, abortion, preterm birth, premature rupture of membranes, and fetal growth did not seem to be affected by the presence of myomas. Thirty-two women with uterine myomas were managed surgically. Thirteen underwent myomectomy during pregnancy. Of these, eight delivered at term and five delivered preterm after the 32nd week of gestation. None of the deliveries were associated with neonatal death. The other 19 patients had surgery at delivery. Nine myomectomies were performed at cesarean delivery. Of these, three were complicated by severe hemorrhage necessitating hysterectomy. Another nine hysterectomies were performed during cesarean and one after vaginal delivery.

Conclusions: In addition to myoma size, the ultrasound evaluation of pregnant women with myomas should include position, location, relationship to the placenta, and echogenic structure. These ultrasound findings make it possible to identify women at risk for myoma-related complications and could be useful in managing the pregnancy.

© 1993 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists