Short-term change in growth of uterine leiomyoma: Tumor growth spurts

Donna Day Baird, Tiana A. Garrett, Shannon K. Laughlin, Barbara Davis, Richard C. Semelka, Shyamal D. Peddada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the short-term changes in growth of uterine leiomyomas (fibroids). Design: Prospective observational study. Setting: University research center. Patient(s): Premenopausal women with fibroids (18 blacks and 18 whites) recruited through a physician network and community outreach. Intervention(s): Not applicable. Main Outcome Measure(s): The volumes of 101 fibroids were measured at enrollment, 3, 6, and 12 months with magnetic resonance imaging, resulting in three interval-specific growth rates. Growth spurts were defined by interval growth rates ≥30% per 3 months and substantially greater than during other intervals of observation. An overall measure of short-term change in fibroid growth was calculated as the variance of the three interval-specific growth rates. Result(s): Growth spurts were observed in 37 of the 101 fibroids, a prevalence nearly tenfold higher than that attributable to potential measurement error. Fibroids from the same woman did not have similar short-term growth, nor were woman-specific factors (age, race/ethnicity, parity, body mass) or the fibroid position in the uterus important. However, large fibroids (>5 cm diameter) had less short-term change than smaller fibroids. Conclusion(s): Short spurts of growth are common for fibroids, suggesting that tumor biology may change rapidly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-246
Number of pages5
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Uterine leiomyoma
  • ethnic disparity
  • fibroid size
  • lon gitudinal study
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • short-term variability
  • tumor growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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