Leiomyoma with nuclear atypia: Rare diseases that present a common diagnostic problem

Semin Diagn Pathol. 2022 May;39(3):187-200. doi: 10.1053/j.semdp.2022.01.006. Epub 2022 Feb 2.


Leiomyoma with nuclear atypia describes a group of uterine smooth muscle tumors with a wide range of histologic and clinical presentations and remarkable nuclear atypia. These include fumarate hydratase-deficient leiomyoma (FH-LM), intravenous leiomyomatosis (IV-LM), and leiomyoma with bizarre nuclei (LM-BN). Other uterine mesenchymal tumors, such as perivascular epithelioid tumor (PEComa) and inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMFT) are the mimickers of leiomyoma with nuclear atypia. LM-BN is the primary tumor model with a long history in gynecologic pathology, but the histogenesis of LM-BN remains largely unknown. Differentiating LM-BN from other benign variants, tumors with uncertain malignant potential (STUMP), or fully malignant leiomyosarcoma (LMS) can be diagnostically challenging. Recent progress has improved the diagnosis of many types of leiomyoma with nuclear atypia based on their specific histology and molecular alterations. LM-BN is now a diagnosis of exclusion. In this article, I review the history of leiomyoma with nuclear atypia and compare the clinical, histologic, and molecular features of LM-BN with those of its mimics. In particular, I highlight the current progress made in molecular genetics and pitfalls in the diagnosis of different myogenic tumors with nuclear atypia.

Keywords: Fumarate hydratase-deficient leiomyoma; Gene mutation; IMFT, Leiomyosarcoma, STUMP; Intravenous leiomyomatosis; Leiomyoma with bizarre nuclei; Leiomyosarcoma; Nuclear atypia; PEComa.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leiomyoma* / diagnosis
  • Leiomyoma* / pathology
  • Leiomyosarcoma* / diagnosis
  • Leiomyosarcoma* / pathology
  • Rare Diseases / diagnosis
  • Uterine Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Uterine Neoplasms* / pathology


  • Biomarkers, Tumor