Maturitas, 2008 Jun 20;60(2):177-9.
PMID: 18482807 DOI: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2008.03.013


Uterine fibroid or leiomyoma is the commonest benign uterine tumour. Its occurrence in the postmenopausal age group is rare and if enlargement of the fibroid noted during this time, the diagnosis of leiomyosarcoma is provisional until proven otherwise. A case of a postmenopausal woman with a huge uterine fibroid associated with polycythaemia is presented whereby the mass was noted to increase in size within 2 years. The patient was otherwise well except for the growing uterine mass. She had venesection done to treat her polycythaemia and later underwent surgery for total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingoophoorectomy. The histopathology report confirmed leiomyoma of uterus with no evidence of sarcomatous changes. It was suggested that large uterine myoma may cause secondary polycythaemia by three postulated mechanisms, i.e. presence of hypoxia suggesting shunting within the tumour, second, the uterine fibroid was compressing the ureters resulting in inappropriate excessive production of erythropoietin by the kidneys, and third, the tumour itself may have been producing the erythropoietin.

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