From the Journals

Heavy menstrual bleeding difficult to control in young patients with inherited platelet disorders



Physician consensus and a broadly effective treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding was not found among young patients with inherited platelet function disorders, according to the results of a retrospective chart review reported in the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.

Heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) in girls with inherited platelet function disorders (IPFD) can be difficult to control despite ongoing follow-up and treatment changes, reported Christine M. Pennesi, MD, of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues.

They assessed 34 young women and girls (ages 9-25 years) diagnosed with IPFDs referred to gynecology and/or hematology at a tertiary care hospital between 2006 and 2018.

Billing codes were used to determine hormonal or nonhormonal treatments, and outcomes over a 1- to 2-year period were collected. The initial treatment was defined as the first treatment prescribed after referral. The primary outcome was treatment failure, defined as a change in treatment method because of continued bleeding.

The majority (56%) of patients failed initial treatment (n = 19); among all 34 individuals followed in the study, an average of 2.7 total treatments were required.

Six patients (18%) remained uncontrolled despite numerous treatment changes (mean treatment changes, four; range, two to seven), and two patients (6%) remained uncontrolled because of noncompliance with treatment.

Overall, the researchers identified a 18% failure rate of successfully treatment of HMB in young women and girls with IPFDs over a 2-year follow-up period.

Of the 26 women who achieved control of HMB within 2-year follow-up, 54% (n = 14) were on hormonal treatments, 27% (n = 7) on nonhormonal treatments, 12% (n = 3) on combined treatments, and 8% (n = 2) on no treatment at time of control, the authors stated.

“The heterogeneity in treatments that were described in this study, clearly demonstrate that, in selecting treatment methods for HMB in young women, other considerations are often in play. This includes patient preference and need for contraception. Some patients or parents may have personal or religious objections to hormonal methods or worry about hormones in this young age group,” the researchers speculated.

“Appropriate counseling in these patients should include that it would not be unexpected for a patient to need more than one treatment before control of bleeding is achieved. This may help to alleviate the fear of teenagers when continued bleeding occurs after starting their initial treatment,” Dr. Pennesi and colleagues concluded.

One of the authors participated in funded trials and received funding from several pharmaceutical companies. The others reported having no disclosures.

SOURCE: Pennesi CM et al. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2020 Jun 22. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2020.06.019.

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