A Case Series of Patients with Large Uterine Fibroids and Venous Thromboembolisms

J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2021 Mar;43(3):352-360. doi: 10.1016/j.jogc.2020.10.009. Epub 2020 Nov 5.


Objective: The purpose of this case series is to identify the clinical characteristics of women with uterine fibroids who developed venous thromboembolisms (VTE) and possible risk factors for the development of VTE in this group.

Data sources: We conducted a systematic search of the Medline, Embase, Cochrane and Scopus databases to retrieve case reports and case series that describe women with an enlarged uterus and VTE. The databases were searched up to August 2019.

Study selection: A total of 1485 articles were identified by a librarian. All case series and case reports that reported uterine weight and size of the fibroids were included.

Data extraction and synthesis: A total of 27 articles were included, describing 35 patients who developed VTE in the presence of uterine fibroids. On average, the uterus measured 22.9 ± 5.0 weeks gestational age and occupied a volume of 2715 cm3 (interquartile range 1296.3-3878.8) on imaging. Two-thirds (60%) of VTEs occurred on the left side, and 87% showed signs of venous compression on imaging. Most patients (89%) required surgical management to relieve the compression caused by the enlarged uterus.

Conclusion: VTE in cases of large uterine leiomyomas can be associated with mechanical compression, which requires surgical management to relieve compression. There is an obvious increased risk of VTE in patients with venous stasis secondary to uterine compression; however, there is no current evidence evaluating the use of anticoagulation in such patients. Further research is required to determine the role of prophylactic anticoagulation in reducing the risk of VTE in high-risk patients with large uterine fibroids.

Keywords: leiomyoma; uterine fibroids; venous thromboembolism.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leiomyoma / complications*
  • Leiomyoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Uterine Neoplasms / complications*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / etiology
  • Venous Thrombosis*