Aromatase inhibitors in the treatment of deep endometriosis

Simone Ferrero, Giovanni Camerini, Valentino Remorgida

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7175/cmi.v3i3.545

Abstract

Recent case reports and pilot studies suggested that aromatase inhibitors might be effective in treating pain symptoms related to the presence of endometriosis. We present the case of a 32-year-old woman who suffered dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, chronic pelvic pain, and dyschezia caused by rectovaginal endometriosis. Pain symptoms recurred after treatment with the oral contraceptive pill; the patient refused surgery. Therefore a double-drug regimen including letrozole (2.5 mg/day) and norethisterone acetate (2.5 mg/day) was offered to the patient. The scheduled length of treatment was six months. This double-drug regimen determined a quick and significant improvement in all pain symptoms. During treatment, the patient complained mild arthralgia. After the interruption of treatment, pain symptoms quickly recurred and at 6-month follow-up their intensity was similar to baseline values. Operative laparoscopy was performed, the presence of rectovaginal endometriosis was confirmed and all visible endometriotic lesions were excised. Aromatase inhibitors might be offered when pain symptoms caused by endometriosis persist during the administration of other hormonal therapies and the patient refuses surgery. However, women must be informed that these drugs determine only a temporary relief of pain symptoms and might cause adverse effects (such as arthralgia).

Keywords

Aromatase inhibitors; Endometriosis; Letrozole; Pain; Rectovaginal endometriosis

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