Treatment of Low-Risk Endometrial Cancer and Complex Atypical Hyperplasia With the Levonorgestrel-Releasing Intrauterine Device

Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Jan;131(1):109-116. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002390.


Objective: To assess efficacy of the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device (LNG-IUD) for treatment of complex atypical hyperplasia or low-grade endometrial cancer.

Methods: This retrospective case series included all patients treated with the LNG-IUD for complex atypical hyperplasia or early-grade endometrial cancer from January 2003 to June 2013. Response rates were calculated and the association of response with clinicopathologic factors, including age, body mass index, and uterine size, was determined.

Results: Forty-six patients diagnosed with complex atypical hyperplasia or early-grade endometrial cancer were treated with the LNG-IUD. Of 32 evaluable patients at the 6-month time point, 15 had complex atypical hyperplasia (47%), nine had G1 endometrial cancer (28%), and eight had grade 2 endometrial cancer (25%). Overall response rate was 75% (95% CI 57-89) at 6 months; 80% (95% CI 52-96) in complex atypical hyperplasia, 67% (95% CI 30-93) in grade 1 endometrial cancer, and 75% (CI 35-97) in grade 2 endometrial cancer. Of the clinicopathologic features evaluated, there was a trend toward the association of lack of exogenous progesterone effect in the pathology specimen with nonresponse to the IUD (P=.05). Median uterine diameter was 1.3 cm larger in women who did not respond to the IUD (P=.04).

Conclusion: Levonorgestrel-releasing IUD therapy for the conservative treatment of complex atypical hyperplasia or early-grade endometrial cancer resulted in return to normal histology in a majority of patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Cancer Care Facilities
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia / drug therapy*
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia / pathology*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intrauterine Devices, Medicated*
  • Levonorgestrel / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Precancerous Conditions / drug therapy
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Texas
  • Young Adult


  • Levonorgestrel