European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology (EJGO) is published by IMR Press from Volume 40 Issue 1 (2019). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with S.O.G.
Depot leuprorelin acetate versus danazol in the treatment of infertile women with symptomatic endometriosis
Purpose of investigation: Endometriosis is a common finding in women with infertility, but the mechanism by which it renders a woman infertile remains unclear. The medical treatment of pelvic endometriosis includes hormonal therapy that directly attacks endometriosis lesions or indirectly by inhibiting endometrial proliferation through estrogenic deprivation. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of leuprorelin acetate depot and danazol for endometriosis in infertile women. Methods: This randomized trial involved 81 women 19-41 years old with regular menses and known pelvic endometriosis who were recruited from the Fertility Center of the Second University of Naples between 1992 and 1999. Fifty-four women were given 3.75 mg of leuprolide acetate depot every 28 days for 24 weeks and the remaining 27 took 200 mg of danazol three times daily for 24 weeks. Efficacy assessments were based on pre-admission and end-of-treatment laparoscopic scores and subjective symptoms scores at 4-week intervals during and after treatment. Safety was evaluated by adverse events and clinical laboratory tests. Results: In each group, endometriosis growth and symptoms significantly improved during treatment (p < 0.001). Significantly fewer patients randomized to leuprorelin acetate (5.5%) withdrew during treatment compared with 18.5% randomized to danazol (p < 0.05). After treatment symptoms returned in each group, but severity was less than at admission at all time points (p < 0.02). Hypoestrogenic side-effects were more common in those receiving leuprorelin, particularly hot flushes, but anabolic/androgenic side-effects of weight gain and acne were more common in those receiving danazol. Conclusion: Both leuprorelin acetate depot and danazol are effective in the treatment of endometriosis in infertile patients. The hypoestrogenic side-effects of leuprorelin may be better tolerated than the androgenic, anabolic effects of danazol.