Research Article| Volume 9, ISSUE 4, P347-357, March 1988

Effects of conjugated equine oestrogens with and without the addition of cyclical norgestrel on serum and urine electrolytes, and the biochemical indices of bone metabolism and liver function

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      Serum and urine electrolytes, and biochemical indices of bone metabolism and liver function were measured in 51 post-menopausal women treated with two hormone replacement therapy regimens for 24 wk. Twenty-six of the women were treated continuously with conjugated equine oestrogens (0.625 mg/day) and the remainder were treated as above with the addition of norgestrel (0.15 mg/day) during the last 12 days of each 28-day cycle.
      Both treatment regimens affected electrolytes in a similar manner. The most consistent effect was a reduction in serum sodium levels and a reduction in urinary sodium/creatinine ratios. The combined regimen appeared to have a greater effect on sodium reabsorption.
      Both regimens decreased all the biochemical indices of bone metabolism measured, viz serum calcium (corrected for albumin), phosphate and alkaline phosphatase and urinary calcium/creatinine and hydroxyproline/creatinine ratios. The preparations used decreased the parameters by similar amounts over the 24 wk indicating that both were equally effective in reducing bone turnover. The data suggested, however, that the combined regimen had a more profound effect on bone metabolism during the early phase of treatment.
      The two treatment regimens had broadly the same effects on the biochemical indices of liver function, reducing albumin levels and all the liver enzymes. Judging by these indices neither regimen had a deleterious effect on liver function.
      We conclude that the two hormone replacement regimens have similar effects on the biochemical indices measured, but there are subtle differences between the two treatments which merit further research.


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