Previously, we reported that short term administration of a highly potent GnRH agonist (GnRHa) for 1 month to patients with polycystic ovarian disease (PCO) resulted in complete suppression of ovarian steroidogenesis without measurable effects on adrenal steroid production. This new study was designed to evaluate the effects of long term GnRHa administration in PCO patients with respect to their hormone secretion patterns and clinical responses. Eight PCO patients and 10 ovulatory women with endometriosis were treated daily with sc injections of [D-His6-(imBzl]),Pro9-NEt]GnRH (GnRHa; 100 micrograms) for 6 months. Their results were compared to hormone values in 8 women who had undergone bilateral oophorectomies. In response to GnRHa, PCO and ovulatory women had rises of serum LH at 1 month, after which it gradually declined to baseline. In both groups FSH secretion was suppressed throughout treatment. Serum estradiol, estrone, progesterone, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione, and testosterone levels markedly decreased to values found in oophorectomized women by 1 month and remained low thereafter. In contrast, serum pregnenolone and 17-hydroxypregnenolone were partially suppressed, and dehydroepiandrosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, and cortisol levels did not change. Clinically, hyperplastic endometrial histology in three PCO patients reverted to an inactive pattern, and proliferative endometrium in two other PCO patients became inactive in one and did not change in the other. Regression of proliferative endometrial histology occurred in all ovulatory women. Vaginal bleeding occurred in all women studied during the first month of GnRHa administration, after which all but one PCO patient became amenorrheic. Hot flashes were noted by all ovulatory women and by four of eight PCO patients. All PCO patients noted subjective reduction of skin oiliness, and five had decreased hair growth. We conclude that in premenopausal women: 1) chronic GnRHa administration results in apparently complete persistent suppression of ovarian steroid secretion; 2) adrenal steroid secretion is not influenced directly or indirectly; and 3) its use may be helpful in the treatment of endometrial hyperplasia and ovarian androgen excess in women with PCO.
Steingold K; De Ziegler D; Cedars M; Meldrum DR; Lu JK; Judd HL; Chang RJ
J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 65: 4, 1987 Oct, 773-8
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90024.