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Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2016 Jun;293(6):1235-41. doi: 10.1007/s00404-015-3937-1. Epub 2015 Nov 2.

The challenge of preoperative identification of uterine myomas: Is ultrasound trustworthy? A prospective cohort study.

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Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, Campus Bio Medico University of Rome, Via Álvaro del Portillo, 200, 00128, Rome, Italy.
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, Campus Bio Medico University of Rome, Via Álvaro del Portillo, 200, 00128, Rome, Italy.
Department of Gynecology, Universiy Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, via Álvaro del Portillo, 200, 00128, Rome, Italy.



To correlate preoperative ultrasound examination with intraoperative and anatomo-pathological findings, including estimation of number, localization and size of uterine myomas, uterine diameters and volume.


A prospective study on 126 women undergoing surgery for uterine myomatosis at Campus Bio-medico between May 2013 and April 2014. The patients were divided into two groups: one submitted to hysterectomy and the other submitted to open myomectomy. Ultrasound scans were performed 1 day before surgery by the same expert sonographer. The number of myomas at ultrasound was compared to intraoperative visualization and anatomo-pathological findings. Wilcoxon Test was applied to compare data registered with each technique.


There was no significant difference between the number of myomas recorded at visualization and at ultrasound, while there was a significant difference between visualization and anatomo-pathology (p = 0.0006). The analysis showed a non-significant difference between myoma number at ultrasound and at anatomo-pathology in the two groups, if the number of myomas was less than or equal to six. Contrarily, we observed a significant difference if the number of myomas was more than six (p = 0.003).


Our data show that ultrasound has limits in identifying the exact number of uterine myomas. This mapping is particularly needed in a minority of patients with usually desiring fertility who need a debulking procedure due to the large size and/or number of myomas or myoma location causing symptomatology. In patients with more than six myomas, voluminous uterus, a second-level examination such as Magnetic Resonance may be helpful.


Hysterectomy; Myomectomy; Preoperative ultrasound; Prospective study; Ultrasound; Uterine myomas

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