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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2000 Sep;124(9):1295-8.

Morphometric and electron microscopic analyses of the effect of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist treatment on arteriole size in uterine leiomyomas.

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Department of Pathology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.



Few studies have been performed on the vascular changes in leiomyomas from patients treated with gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHAs).


To measure luminal diameter and wall thickness of arterioles in uterine leiomyomas using a quantitative stereologic method of analysis.


Thirty leiomyomas from 3 study groups were used: (1) patients treated with GnRHAs (10 patient samples), (2) age-matched controls (10 patient samples), and (3) postmenopausal women (10 patient samples). Measurements of arteriolar luminal diameter and wall thickness were made using a video-based, computerized system attached to the microscope, for which a morphometric ad hoc program was written. Electron micrographs were made of random arterioles from the first 2 groups (GnRHA-treated patients and age-matched controls).


Department of Pathology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY.


A total of 30 patient samples were studied, with 3 groups comprising 10 samples each, including patients treated with GnRHAs, age-matched control patients, and postmenopausal women.


Arterioles in myomas from patients treated with GnRHAs had slightly larger luminal diameters and significantly thicker walls than age-matched controls and resembled arterioles from postmenopausal women. The thickening was due to smooth muscle cell hyperplasia in the muscularis media.


Treatment with GnRHAs causes a thickening of the walls of intramyomatous arterioles, which resemble those of postmenopausal women. This thickening may play a role in the decreased flow of blood reported in GnRHA treatment.

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