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Effects of the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system on cardiovascular risk markers in patients with endometriosis: a comparative study with the GnRH analogue.

Author(s): Ferreira RA, Vieira CS, Rosa-E-Silva JC, Rosa-e-Silva AC, Nogueira AA, Ferriani RA

Affiliation(s): Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ribeirao Preto School of Medicine, University of Sao Paulo, Ribeirao Preto, SP, 14049-900, Brazil. rodrigoalf@ufscar.br

Publication date & source: 2010-02, Contraception., 81(2):117-22. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

Publication type: Comparative Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: The study was conducted to evaluate the cardiovascular risk markers associated with endometriosis and the influence of the levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) compared with the GnRH analogue (GnRHa) leuprolide acetate on these risk markers after 6 months of treatment. STUDY DESIGN: This was a randomized, prospective, open clinical study, with 44 patients with laparoscopically and histologically confirmed endometriosis. Patients were randomized into two groups: the LNG-IUS group, composed of 22 patients who underwent LNG-IUS insertion, and the GnRHa group, composed of 22 patients who received a monthly GnRHa injection for 6 months. Body mass index; systolic and diastolic arterial blood pressure; heart rate; and laboratory cardiovascular risk markers such as interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), C-reactive protein (CRP), homocysteine (HMC), lipid profile, total leukocytes and vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM) were measured before and 6 months after treatment. RESULTS: After 6 months of treatment, a significant reduction in pain score occurred in both groups with no significant difference in improvement between the two medications evaluated. In the LNG-IUS group, from pretreatment to posttreatment period, there was a significant reduction in the levels (mean+/-SD) of VCAM (92.8+/-4.2 to 91.2+/-2.7 ng/mL, p=.04), CRP (0.38+/-0.30 to 0.28+/-0.21 mg/dL, p=.03), total cholesterol (247.0+/-85.0 to 180.0+/-31.0 mg/dL, p=.0002), triglycerides (118.0+/- 76.0 to 86.5+/-41.5 mg/dL, p=.003), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (160.5+/-66.0 to 114.5+/-25.5 mg/dL, p=.0005) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (63.0+/-20.5 to 48.5+/-10.5 mg/dL, p=.002). The GnRHa group showed an increase in HMC levels (11.5+/-2.9 to 13.0+/-2.7 mumol/L, p=.04) and a reduction in IL-6 levels (4.3+/-3.9 to 2.3+/-0.8 pg/mL, p=.005), VCAM (94.0+/-3.8 to 92.0+/-1.6 ng/mL, p=.03) and total leukocytes (7330+/-2554 to 6350+/-1778, p=.01). In the GnRH group, the remaining variables, including lipid profile, did not show any statistical difference. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that some cardiovascular risk markers are influenced by both GnRHa and the LNG-IUS, but the latter had a greater positive impact on the lipid profile, which could lead to a favorable effect during long-term treatment.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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