Objective: To review the currently available literature regarding the biology, etiology, symptoms, and diagnosis of uterine myomas.
Design: Literature review of 220 articles pertaining to uterine myomas.
Result(s): Although uterine myomas presently are not well understood, many advances have been made in the understanding of the hormonal factors, genetic factors, growth factors, and molecular biology of these benign tumors. Prospective, longitudinal studies are underway to characterize the risk factors for their development. When needed, the position of myomas can be best imaged by sonohysterography or magnetic resonance imaging. Evidence suggests that only submucous myomas appear to interfere with fertility, and only very rarely do myomas effect pregnancy outcome.
Conclusion(s): A summary of the available literature regarding the biology, etiology, symptomatology, and diagnosis of myomas shows that, although they are still not well understood, much has been learned about uterine myomas.