Reintervention risk and quality of life outcomes after uterine-sparing interventions for fibroids: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Data regarding the efficacy of uterine-sparing interventions are limited. Sixty months after therapy, reintervention risks were 12.2% for myomectomy, 14% for embolization, 53.9% for high-intensity focused ultra- sound, and 7% for hysteroscopic myomectomy.

Volume 109, Issue 4, Pages 698–707.e1


Evelien M. Sandberg, M.D., Fokkedien H.M.P. Tummers, Sarah L. Cohen, M.D., M.P.H., Lukas van den Haak, M.D., Olaf M. Dekkers, M.D., Ph.D., Frank Willem Jansen, M.D., Ph.D.



To compare uterine-sparing treatment options for fibroids in terms of reintervention risk and quality of life.


Systematic review and meta-analysis according to PRISMA guidelines.


Not applicable.


Women with uterine fibroids undergoing a uterine-sparing intervention.


Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

1) Reintervention risk after uterine-sparing treatment for fibroids after 12, 36, and 60 months; and 2) quality of life outcomes, based on validated questionnaires. Two separate analyses were performed for the procedures that used an abdominal approach (myomectomy, uterine artery embolization [UAE], artery ligation, high-intensity focused ultrasound [HIFU], laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation [RFA]) and for the procedures managing intracavitary fibroids (hysteroscopic approach, including hysteroscopic myomectomy and hysteroscopic RFA).


There were 85 articles included for analysis, representing 17,789 women. Stratified by treatment options, reintervention risk after 60 months was 12.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] 5.2%–21.2%) for myomectomy, 14.4% (95% CI 9.8%–19.6%) for UAE, 53.9% (95% CI 47.2%–60.4%) for HIFU, and 7% (95% CI 4.8%–9.5%) for hysteroscopy. For the other treatment options, no studies were available at 60 months. For quality of life outcomes, symptoms improved after treatment for all options. The HIFU procedure had the least favorable outcomes.


Despite the substantial heterogeneity of the study population, this meta-analysis provides valuable information on relative treatment efficacy of various uterine-sparing interventions for fibroids, which is relevant when counseling patients in daily practice. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that long-term data, particularly for the newest uterine-sparing interventions, are urgently needed.

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