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Therapeutic Applications of Luteinizing-Hormone-Releasing Hormone and Its Analogs

GORDON B. CUTLER Jr., M.D.; ANDREW R. HOFFMAN, M.D.; RONALD S. SWERDLOFF, M.D.; RICHARD J. SANTEN, M.D.; DAVID R. MELDRUM, M.D.; and FLORENCE COMITE, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸An edited summary of a Clinical Staff Conference at the Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, 24 February 1983, sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

▸Authors who wish to cite a section of the conference and specifically indicate its author can use this example for the form of reference:

SANTEN RJ. Medical treatment of prostatic cancer, pp. 648-51. In: CUTLER GB JR, moderator. Therapeutic applications of luteinizing-hormone-releasing hormone and its analogs. Ann Intern Med. 1985;102:643-57.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Gordon B. Cutler, Jr., M.D.; Building 10, Room 10N262, National Institutes of Health; Bethesda, MD 20205.


Bethesda, Maryland


Ann Intern Med. 1985;102(5):643-657. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-102-5-643
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The chemical structure of luteinizing-hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) was discovered in 1971 after more than a decade of intensive effort. Subsequent physiologic studies in primates and humans showed that the biologic activity of LHRH depends on the way in which the hormone is administered. Pulsatile administration of LHRH, which mimics the natural secretory pattern, causes sustained secretion of the gonadotrophins. This method of administration has been used to induce ovulation in women with hypothalamic amenorrhea and to induce puberty and spermatogenesis in men with hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism. Continuous infusion, however, produces only transient stimulation of gonadotrophin secretion, followed by a "desensitization" response in which gonadotrophin secretion is inhibited. Thus, LHRH can either augment or inhibit gonadotrophin secretion depending on the mode of administration. Recently, long-acting synthetic analogs of LHRH have been shown to desensitize the pituitary gland and inhibit gonadotrophin release when administered as a single daily subcutaneous injection. These LHRH analogs have proved highly effective in the treatment of prostatic carcinoma and central precocious puberty. They are also being studied as a new approach to contraception and to the treatment of endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome.

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