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Top Magn Reson Imaging. 2003 Aug;14(4):281-304.

Benign myometrial conditions: leiomyomas and adenomyosis.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC 20007, USA.


Leiomyomas and adenomyosis are common benign myometrial conditions. Although their symptoms overlap, traditional treatment of these two entities differs; thus, making the correct diagnosis is critical. Specifically, uterine-conserving therapy is well established for many women with symptomatic leiomyomas, whereas hysterectomy is the treatment for debilitating adenomyosis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the most accurate modality for identifying leiomyomas and adenomyosis. T2-weighted sequences often are diagnostic. For leiomyomas, MRI reliably identifies their number, size, and location. These features help triage patients to appropriate therapy. For adenomyosis, MRI establishes the diagnosis in cases of equivocal or nondiagnostic ultrasounds. MRI also has been used to confirm an ultrasound diagnosis of adenomyosis when curative surgery is being considered. Intravenous gadolinium chelates are not necessary to make the diagnosis of either adenomyosis or leiomyomas, but it provides useful information about vascularity of lesions, a factor that may impact the type of treatment undertaken.

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