Uterine fibroids are the most frequent benign pelvic tumors in women. They derive from the proliferation of smooth muscle and connective tissue in the uterus. Approximately 15-20% of women have some form of calcification in the uterus. Its appearance before the age of 20 is infrequent and exceptional before puberty. 90% of cases are diagnosed between 35 and 55 years of age3. On rare occasions (around 1%), they can become malignant to the calcified fibroid.
Factors predisposing to calcified uterine fibroid are age, obesity, oral contraceptives, endogenous hormonal factors, and family history. In general, they are slow-growing tumors and are asymptomatic in 75-80% of cases, which means that their diagnosis occurs by chance during the abdominal physical examination for another reason, as occurred in the patient in our case. When they present symptoms, they depend on several factors, such as the location, the fibroid size, and the number.
Among the clinical manifestations that may present calcified fibroid are compression symptoms, pain, infertility, and even debuting as an acute abdomen due to spontaneous rupture.
Calcification in the uterus has a frequency of 4-10%. It is more frequent in postmenopause and cases of pedunculated subserosal fibroids. They generally occur due to circulatory disorders in fibroids and elderly patients. Although on the X-ray, it may appear to be a calcified uterine fibroid with the decubitus X-ray. This pathology can be ruled out based on the morphology and mobility of the images.
How do we get calcification in the uterus?
70% of ovarian tumors are epithelial. the most frequent is serous, which presents frequently calcified projecting into the cavity. It mainly affects women older than 60, although it can appear at any age. Complications such as reflux, bladder lithiasis, recurrent infections, perforation, and fistulas have been described.
Symptoms of calcification in the uterus
Usually, the calcification in the uterus does not present any symptoms. It is a casual finding when performing a diagnostic, radiological, or ultrasound test on the person in question for a different reason.
But, even though calcification in the uterus itself does not cause symptoms, its location can produce them, manifesting in pain, muscle weakness, cramps, increased frequency of bone fractures, limited mobility.
Depending on where they are located, they can create serious mobility problems for the affected limb. It occurs predominantly in those originating in the shoulders and calcaneus when they manifest as spurs.
Why is calcified fibroid produced?
In situations of arteriosclerosis, the arteries appear calcified, which is a significant risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases, such as acute myocardial infarction.
Other times calcified fibroids appear as a consequence of more essential diseases that affect basal metabolism, such as Paget’s disease, which occurs with excessive loss of bone tissue or a situation of excessive calcium accumulation (severe hypercalcemia).
Tumors, whether benign or malignant, can also cause calcification in the uterus of the affected tissue.
Treatment for calcified uterine fibroid
If the calcifications are derived from another adjacent disease, the calcified uterine fibroid treatment will be primary. The condition must be treated medically to prevent these calcium deposits from continuing to form. Thus, the therapy will depend on the calcium metabolic disorder. On the other hand, if the calcification prevents correct joint mobility or entails a significant functional limitation, surgery is considered the treatment of choice.
How to prevent calcification in the uterus?
It is more common to see calcifications in advanced ages, but they can affect anyone. There are risk factors for its appearance, but it does not mean all people suffering from them will develop them. They stand out among them:
- Excessive consumption of alcohol,
- Suffering from inflammatory lesions,
- Have a history of calcium metabolism disorders.
In case of having been diagnosed with calcification in the uterus, it is advisable to take the previous tests to the doctor at the USA Fibroid Centers to compare the images in case they have varied, and malignancy is suspected.
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