Efficacy of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist in the treatment of uterine leiomyomata: Long-term follow-up

G. S. Letterie, C. C. Coddington, C. A. Winkel, T. H. Shawker, D. L. Loriaux, R. L. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The authors employed a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH-a)(D-His6-pro9-NET-GnRH) to treat 19 patients with symptomatic uterine leiomyomata, by daily subcutaneous injections (4 μg/kg) for 6 months. After therapy, patients were followed for 6 months without any therapy. Uterine volumes were measured by serial pelvic examinations and pelvic sonography. Measurements of serum estradiol, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone were used to assess treatment response. Pituitary desensitization and hypoestrogenemia were achieved in all within 8 weeks, and in 18 of 19, hypoestrogenemia was maintained for the duration. Uterine volume at the conclusion of therapy (207.5 ± 152.7 ml) was significantly reduced in all patients when compared with pretreatment sizes (420.8 ± 276.4, P < 0.05). Side effects included hot flashes (78%), vaginal dryness (32%), and transient frontal headaches (55%). All patients reported partial or complete relief from their symptomatic leiomyomata. Uterine volume at the conclusion of follow-up (345.4 ± 195.7 ml) was greateR than at the conclusion of therapy. Menses resumed in all patients within 4 to 8 weeks. In conclusion, GnRH-a therapy does not provide definitive therapy for symptomatic uterine leiomyomata but is effective in reducing the size of leiomyomata as a temporary measure. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist therapy may be useful as an adjunct before myomectomy or hysterectomy and deserves further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)951-956
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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