The genetics of uterine leiomyomata: what clinicians need to know

Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Apr;107(4):917-21. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000206161.84965.0b.


The genetics of many complex diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, and asthma, are receiving intense investigation and beginning to have therapeutic relevance. Family medical history can be a critical source of information for providing optimal patient care. For gynecologists, knowledge of cancer susceptibility genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 and the genetic syndrome hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome II) affects how patients are screened for ovarian and endometrial cancers. Similarly, identification of mutations in the fumarate hydratase (FH) gene that lead to a syndrome called hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell carcinoma (HLRCC) will impact screening and treatment of women with uterine leiomyomas. Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell carcinoma syndrome is particularly relevant to clinicians and patients because of the resulting increased risk of malignant disease for both the affected woman and her family. The goals of this article are to summarize the evolving genetic information concerning uterine leiomyomas, including hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell carcinoma syndrome, and to discuss the clinical importance of these findings. The current role of family medical history and future implications of genes relevant to leiomyoma biology will be reviewed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • HMGA2 Protein / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Leiomyoma / epidemiology
  • Leiomyoma / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase / genetics*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / genetics*


  • HMGA2 Protein
  • Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase