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Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd. 2013 Sep;73(9):924-931.

Adenomyosis: Epidemiology, Risk Factors, Clinical Phenotype and Surgical and Interventional Alternatives to Hysterectomy.

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Women's Clinic, University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.


in English, German

Adenomyosis is an important clinical challenge in gynecology and healthcare economics; in its fully developed form, hysterectomy is often used to treat it in premenopausal and perimenopausal women. Symptoms of adenomyosis typically include menorrhagia, pelvic pain and dysmenorrhea. Moreover, adenomyosis and leiomyomas commonly coexist in the same uterus, and differentiating the symptoms for each pathological process can be problematic. Although it has been recognized for over a century, reliable epidemiological studies on this condition are limited, because only postoperative diagnoses were possible in the past. Minimally invasive surgical techniques (endometrial ablation/resection, myometrial excision/reduction, myometrial electrocoagulation, uterine artery ligation) have had limited success in the treatment of adenomyosis, and the reported data for these procedures have been obtained from case reports or small case series with only short follow-up times. However, newer techniques including uterine artery embolization (UAE) and magnetic resonance imaging guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) show promise in treating adenomyosis. The data is strongest for UAE; these studies have the largest patient cohorts. However, none of the UAE studies were randomized or controlled. Thus, despite the clinical importance of adenomyosis, there is little evidence on which to base treatment decisions. The objective of this review is to summarize the epidemiology, risk factors, clinical phenotype and to evaluate the accrued experience with surgical and interventional alternatives to hysterectomy.


adenomyosis; endometrial ablation; hysterectomy; magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound; uterine artery embolization

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