TISSUE CONCENTRATIONS OF LEVONORGESTREL IN WOMEN USING A LEVONORGESTREL-RELEASING IUD

Authors

  • C. G. NILSSON,

    Corresponding author
    1. Steroid Research Laboratory, Department of Medical Chemistry, University of Helsinki, SF-00170 Helsinki 17, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Oulu, SF-90220 Oulu 22, Finland
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  • M. HAUKKAMAA,

    1. Steroid Research Laboratory, Department of Medical Chemistry, University of Helsinki, SF-00170 Helsinki 17, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Oulu, SF-90220 Oulu 22, Finland
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  • H. VIEROLA,

    1. Steroid Research Laboratory, Department of Medical Chemistry, University of Helsinki, SF-00170 Helsinki 17, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Oulu, SF-90220 Oulu 22, Finland
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  • T. LUUKKAINEN,

    1. Steroid Research Laboratory, Department of Medical Chemistry, University of Helsinki, SF-00170 Helsinki 17, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Oulu, SF-90220 Oulu 22, Finland
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  • P. ARCANGELI

    1. Steroid Research Laboratory, Department of Medical Chemistry, University of Helsinki, SF-00170 Helsinki 17, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Oulu, SF-90220 Oulu 22, Finland
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Dr Carl Gustaf Nilsson, Steroid Research Laboratory, Department of Medical Chemistry, University of Helsinki, Siltavuorenpenger 10 A, SF-00170 Helsinki 10, Finland.

SUMMARY

Thirteen women who were scheduled for hysterectomy volunteered for the study. Nine women had a levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine contraceptive device inserted between 36 and 49 days prior to surgery and four women were on oral levonorgestrel treatment for 7 days prior to surgery. After the surgical removal of the uterus, samples of endometrial, myometrial, fallopian tube and fat tissue were obtained. Methods for measuring tissue concentrations of levonorgestrel were developed and the uptake of levonorgestrel by fat tissue in vitro was studied. The concentrations of levonorgestrel in myometrial, fallopian tube and fat tissue were all of the same order, of between 1 and 5 ng/g of wet weight of tissue, in both the intrauterine device group and the orally treated group. In the endometrium the levonorgestrel concentrations were many-fold higher in the intrauterine device group. The in vitro experiments showed a rapid uptake of levonorgestrel and an unsaturability of the fat tissue by the steroid at the concentrations used. The fat tissue concentrations of levonorgestrel correlated with the plasma concentrations.

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