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Keywords:

  • endometrial PAI-1/2;
  • levonorgestrel;
  • menorrhagia;
  • u-PA receptor

Summary. Background: Menorrhagia is known to be associated with uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, pelvic infections, endometrial polyps and clotting defects. A viable alternative therapy to hysterectomy should alleviate heavy menstrual blood flow and consequently improve the quality-of-life measures in women presenting with menorrhagia. The levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) ranks higher than medical treatments in terms of efficacy, comparable improvements in quality of life and psychological well-being. Objective: The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of 6 months of LNG-IUS use on menstrual blood loss and the hemostatic, fibrinolytic/inhibitor systems in blood and the endometrium in women with menorrhagia with known pathologic causes. Patients and methods: Samples from 41 women were analyzed. Hemoglobin, hematocrit, thrombelastography, tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA), urokinase plasminogen activator (u-PA), u-PA receptor (u-PAR), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1/2 (PAI-1/2), D-dimer and von Willebrand factor (VWF) were determined, and t-PA, u-PA and PAI-1/2 were also determined in endometrial tissue extracts. Results: Menorrhagia was reduced in 89% of women by 3 months; by 6 months all women had no menorrhagia, and 39% of women had become amenorrhoeic. Hemoglobin and hematocrit levels showed improvement, and reached normal reference levels by 6 months. There were no systemic changes in the fibrinolytic/inhibitor systems and VWF, except for a decreased u-PAR level. However, in the endometrium, significant elevations in PAI-1/2 together with u-PAR levels were seen at 6 months. Conclusions: The slow levonorgestrel-release intrauterine device use results in high expression of fibrinolytic inhibitors (PAI-1/2) and upregulated u-PAR expression in the endometrium. Systemic hemostasis was not significantly altered. The study demonstrated that LNG-IUS is highly effective in the treatment of menorrhagia with known pathologic causes.