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To evaluate and compare the safety and efficacy of leuprolide versus placebo in managing chronic pelvic pain in women with clinically suspected endometriosis.
METHODS: Women 18-45 years of age with moderate to severe pelvic pain of at least 6 months' duration underwent extensive, noninvasive diagnostic testing and laboratory evaluation, including pelvic ultrasound, complete blood count, determination of erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and endocervical cultures. Those with clinically suspected endometriosis were randomized to double-blind treatment for 3 months with depot leuprolide (3.75 mg/mo) or placebo. The accuracy of the clinical diagnosis of endometriosis was evaluated by posttreatment laparoscopy.
RESULTS: Of 100 women randomized, 95 completed the study: 49 in the leuprolide group and 46 in the placebo group. Women in the leuprolide group had clinically and statistically significant (P < or = .001) mean improvements from baseline after 12 weeks of therapy in all pain measures. These mean improvements were significantly greater (P < or = .001) than those in the placebo group. At 12 weeks, mean decreases in physician-rated scores for dysmenorrhea, pelvic pain, and pelvic tenderness were 1.7, 1.0, and 0.8 points greater, respectively, in the leuprolide group than in the placebo group (on a four-point scale). Thirty-eight (78%) of 49 and 40 (87%) of 46 patients in the leuprolide and placebo groups, respectively, had laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis after 12 weeks of treatment. No women withdrew from the study because of adverse events.
CONCLUSION: Depot leuprolide was effective and safe for treating patients with chronic pelvic pain and clinically suspected endometriosis, confirming the potential of its empiric use in these patients.
Pelvic Pain Study Group, Obstet Gynecol 1999 Jan;93(1):51-8 (ISSN: 0029-7844)
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Tennessee-Memphis, 38103, USA