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JAMA. 1979 Oct 26;242(17):1877-81.

Cytotoxic-induced ovarian failure in women with Hodgkin's disease. I. Hormone function.


Forty-one women with advanced Hodgkin's disease were studied to determine the effect of combination chemotherapy on fertility and ovarian function. Histories and pretreatment ovarian biopsy specimens indicated normal fertility before therapy, thus implying no adverse effect of Hodgkin's diseases on female gonadal function. Ovarian activity was assessed after therapy by menstrual history, serial basal body temperatures, and hormonal levels. Each case was assigned to one of three categories: primary ovarian failure (failed ovary), irregular ovarian activity (failing ovary), and normal cyclic ovarian activity (functioning ovary). After therapy, 20 of 41 patients (49%) were categorized as failed, 14 (34%) as failing, and only 7 (17%) as functioning. In 16 months of further observation, progressive loss of ovarian function occurred that was clearly age related but not statistically dose related. Induction of premature, irreversible menopause presents a need for effective hormonal replacement and patient counseling.

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