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Objectives: To evaluate, in women with postmenopausal bleeding, the effect of hormonal replacement (HRT) therapy on the endometrial thickness as measured by transvaginal sonography in relation to endometrial histology. Methods: 1110 women with sequential/progestin treatment (E + P) (n = 202), with Estriol treatment (n = 149) or without HRT (n = 759) and postmenopausal bleeding were examined by transvaginal sonography (TVS) prior to curettage, with special reference to the relation of endometrial thickness to its histopathology. Results: The distribution of endometrial pathology was different in those women with E + P and Estriol compared with those without HRT. Endometrial pathology was found most frequently in women with an endometrium exceeding 8 mm in thickness. Furthermore, the incidence was found to increase with increasing endometrial thickness in all treatment groups. Atrophy was found significantly more often in women without HRT. Hormonal effects on the endometrium were found significantly more often in women with E + P and Estriol. Endometrial hyperplasia was found most commonly in women with Estriol in the thickness group 5–8 mm (P < 0.001) as compared to those with HRT and without HRT. Endometrial cancer occurs most in women without HRT, in those women with an endometrium exceeding 8 mm in thickness as compared both to the E + P (P < 0.001) group and to the Estriol (P < 0.001) group. Endometrial cancer did not occur in any woman (with E + P, Estriol or without HRT) with an endometrial thickness of ≤ 4 mm. Conclusions: TVS is of value for excluding endometrial pathology in women with HRT and postmenopausal bleeding. The distribution of endometrial findings and histopathological diagnosis in women ith abnormal postmenopausal bleeding was different in women with E + P than in women without HRT. Furthermore, the cut-off for excluding endometrial abnormalities is the same in both groups i.e. ≤ 4 mm.
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Accepted: January 2, 1997
Received in revised form: December 23, 1996
Received: January 11, 1996
© 1997 Published by Elsevier Inc.