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Pentoxifylline after conservative surgery for endometriosis: a randomized, controlled trial.

Author(s): Kamencic H, Thiel JA

Affiliation(s): Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Publication date & source: 2008-01, J Minim Invasive Gynecol., 15(1):62-6.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To compare outcomes after conservative surgery for endometriosis with and without pentoxifylline and to assess the efficacy of pentoxifylline in preventing recurrence of endometriosis after conservative surgery. DESIGN: Parallel-group, randomized, controlled trial (Canadian Task Force classification I). SETTING: Tertiary care hospital. PATIENTS: Women undergoing conservative surgery for endometriosis. INTERVENTIONS: Laparoscopic conservative surgery for endometriosis was completed by a single surgeon (J.A.T.), and all suspected endometriotic lesions were widely excised using monopolar coagulation and scissors. All specimens were submitted to pathology for confirmation of the diagnosis. Randomization to the treatment or control groups was completed preoperatively in the outpatient surgery unit by drawing colored marbles. A preoperative visual analog pain scale (VAS) was completed. After surgery, patients were discharged home with prescriptions for naproxen, hydromorphone, and pentoxifylline. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Visual analog scale scoring was completed monthly by each patient, and each patient was seen monthly for review and pelvic examination. Analgesic use was recorded daily using an individual medication log. Ongoing treatment choice after completion of the 3-month follow-up was recorded. The relationship between the group receiving pentoxifylline and the control group as well as analysis of the VAS scores at time of surgery and 1, 2, and 3 months postoperatively was determined using a covariate mixed-model ANOVA. Forty-nine patients were enrolled in the trial. One patient became pregnant before surgery, and 1 patient's chart was not available for analysis. Of the 47 who underwent conservative surgery for endometriosis, 9 (19%) had no endometriosis noted in the pathology specimens submitted. Two patients withdrew from the trial after surgery, and 2 patients were lost to follow-up after relocating to a different city. Nineteen women completed the 3-month follow-up in the control group, 15 in the group receiving pentoxifylline. The mean age, gravidity, parity, body mass index, previous surgery for endometriosis, menstrual cycle, and preoperative analgesic use did not differ significantly between the control and treatment groups. The time to complete the conservative surgery did not vary between the 2 groups. There were no intraoperative complications: two patients were admitted postoperatively, one for nausea and vomiting, one for pain that resolved 24 hours after admission. The VAS scores did not differ at the time of surgery; and in both the control and the pentoxifylline groups, there was significant improvement at each monthly interval (p <.05). The patients receiving pentoxifylline had significantly better VAS scores at 2 and 3 months after surgery (p <.03). CONCLUSIONS: The use of pentoxifylline after conservative surgery for endometriosis resulted in improved VAS scores at 2 and 3 months after the procedure when compared with patients having conservative surgery only. The longer-term use of pentoxifylline after conservative surgery may improve long-term outcomes after surgical treatment for endometriosis.

Page last updated: 2008-03-26

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