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LH suppression following different low doses of the GnRH antagonist ganirelix in polycystic ovary syndrome.

Author(s): Hohmann FP, Laven JS, Mulders AG, Oberye JJ, Mannaerts BM, de Jong FH, Fauser BC

Affiliation(s): Division of Reproductive Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. fhohmann@zonnet.nl

Publication date & source: 2005-12, J Endocrinol Invest., 28(11):990-7.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

Elevated LH concentration is a common feature in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This study was designed to establish whether elevated LH levels in PCOS might be suppressed to normal range values by the administration of different low doses of GnRH antagonist, which subsequently might reverse the anovulatory status of these patients. Twenty-four PCOS patients with elevated endogenous LH concentrations were randomized into 3 different dose groups, receiving either 0.125 mg (Group A), 0.250 mg (Group B) or 0.500 mg (Group C) ganirelix sc daily for 7 subsequent days. During the first day of treatment, LH and FSH levels were assessed at 20 min intervals, during 8 h. Thereafter LH, FSH, androgens, estradiol (E2) and inhibins were assessed daily and frequent ultrasound scans were performed for 7 days to record follicle development. Repeated GnRH antagonist administration induced a significant suppression of LH (and to a lesser extent of FSH) serum levels, which was comparable between the different doses. Six hours after ganirelix administration, endogenous LH was suppressed by 49, 69 and 75%, and endogenous FSH was suppressed by 23, 19 and 25%, respectively. The decrease in serum LH and FSH levels was transient and lasted for 12 h, after which serum levels returned to baseline levels at 24 h after drug administration. Androgen levels were not significantly suppressed using this regimen. E2 levels decreased significantly (p < 0.001) and suppression was most pronounced in Group C. Spontaneous follicle development or ovulations were not recorded during the course of treatment. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that the GnRH antagonist ganirelix is capable of normalising elevated LH levels in PCOS patients, in doses similar to the ones previously shown to prevent a premature LH rise during ovarian hyperstimulation for in vitro fertilization (IVF). In addition, the transient suppression of elevated endogenous LH levels per se does not re-establish normal follicle development in PCOS. However, follicle development may be insufficiently supported by the accompanied subtle suppression of endogenous FSH. Similarly, a transient decline in E2 levels does not effectively restore normal pituitary ovarian feedback. Moreover, these results support the contention of a limited role of LH in the pathogenesis of PCOS.

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