Individualized vaginal bleeding experience of women with uterine fibroids in the PEARL I randomized controlled trial comparing the effects of ulipristal acetate or placebo

Barlow, D.H., Lumsden, M.A. , Fauser, B.C.J.M., Terrill, P. and Bestel, E. (2014) Individualized vaginal bleeding experience of women with uterine fibroids in the PEARL I randomized controlled trial comparing the effects of ulipristal acetate or placebo. Human Reproduction, 29(3), pp. 480-489. (doi: 10.1093/humrep/det467) (PMID:24457604)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


RESEARCH QUESTION What is the individualized bleeding experience of women with fibroids and anaemia in a 3 month randomized placebo controlled trial (PEARL I) of the selective progesterone receptor modulator (SPRM), ulipristal acetate (UPA)?<p></p> SUMMARY ANSWER In contrast to continuing excessive regular menstruation in the placebo group, a majority of women treated with UPA (63.1% of those on 5 mg/day and 71.3% of those on 10 mg/day) experienced the rapid onset of amenorrhoea or minimal blood loss [pictorial blood loss assessment chart (PBAC) < 12]. The remainder experienced various patterns of bleeding and intensity of blood loss that are described for the first time, including an association of irregular bleeding on UPA with sub-mucous fibroids.<p></p> WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY The majority experience on UPA is amenorrhoea but the bleeding experience of the others has not been characterized.<p></p> STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION A 13 week randomized controlled trial in women, eligible for surgery for uterine fibroids and anaemia, comparing placebo (n = 48), UPA 5 mg (n = 95) or UPA 10 mg (n = 94). The treatment aim was fibroid shrinkage and the primary definitions and outcomes are published elsewhere; here the secondary outcome measure of vaginal bleeding pattern is described.<p></p> PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS Women, 18–50 years old, with fibroids and haemoglobin ≤10.2 g/dl, justifying surgery. At least one fibroid was 3–10 cm diameter and uterus ≤16 weeks pregnancy size. All used the daily PBAC methodology in a screening cycle (Ps) and throughout treatment, and for the 4 weeks preceding Week 26 and Week 38 in those who did not have surgery. An excessive menstruation is PBAC > 100. The bleeding patterns were characterized using the classification of Belsey, developed under auspices of WHO.<p></p> MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE In the placebo group, all women had an excessive screening PBAC [median 376; interquartile range (IQR) 241–574]; 81.3% of them had regular menstrual bleeding and the intensity of bleeding remained similar, so that the median PBAC in the next three periods was 90, 92 and 93% of the screening value. Four of the 48 women had spontaneous improvement in bleeding and one developed amenorrhoea and elevation of gonadotrophins. In the placebo group, 22 women provided Week 26 and 21 women provided Week 38 PBAC data. The median Week 26 PBAC (312: IQR 102–524) and Week 38 PBAC (236; IQR 103–465) indicated ongoing excessive bleeding. In the UPA group, screening PBAC confirmed excessive bleeding (UPA 5 mg, median 358; IQR 232–621; UPA 10 mg, median 330; IQR 235–542). UPA was initiated from the start of a menstruation (P1) and no women had regular periods on treatment. Following P1 through the whole of the remaining 13 weeks of UPA treatment amenorrhoea or minimal loss (PBAC < 12 for whole phase) occurred in 63.1% (UPA 5 mg) or 71.3% (UPA 10 mg). The characterization of the individualized bleeding experience of the remaining women on 5 mg and 10 mg UPA, respectively, were infrequent bleeding in 17.9 and 12.8%; frequent or prolonged bleeding or both in 12.7 and 11.7% and irregular bleeding in 5.3 and 3.2%. In those with prolonged, frequent or irregular bleeding there was a high chance that sub-mucous fibroids were present (UPA 5 mg 100% and UPA 10 mg 78.6%) but no correlation with progesterone receptor modulator-associated endometrial changes.<p></p> LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION The follow-up PBAC data at Week 26 and Week 38 are only valid for women who did not have surgical intervention. These groups may not be representative of the groups at screening.<p></p> WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS This first detailed description of these SPRM bleeding patterns provides clinicians with an indication of potential responses in women using the SPRM UPA and provides an extended definition of bleeding in untreated women with excessive bleeding and fibroids.<p></p>

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barlow, Professor David and Lumsden, Professor Mary
Authors: Barlow, D.H., Lumsden, M.A., Fauser, B.C.J.M., Terrill, P., and Bestel, E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Human Reproduction
ISSN (Online):1460-2350

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record