OBJECTIVE:The goal of this study was to determine the optimal parameters for photodynamic endometrial destruction with topically applied 5-aminolevulinic acid, a precursor for the endogenous synthesis of the fluorescent photosensitizer protoporphyrin IX. STUDY DESIGN:5-Aminolevulinic acid pharmacokinetics were measured in rat and rabbit models by analyzing tissue frozen sections 3 to 12 hours after topical administration. Dose-response studies were conducted for 100 to 400 mg/ml 5-aminolevulinic acid. Photodynamic therapy was performed intraluminally, and tissue morphologic features were evaluated 3 and 7 days after treatment. RESULTS:Peak fluorescence was observed 3 hours after topical administration. Glandular fluorescence significantly exceeded stromal and myometrial in all studies, particularly for 200 mg/ml 5-aminolevulinic acid. Histologic studies revealed persistent epithelial destruction with minimal regeneration. CONCLUSION:Topical 5-aminolevulinic acid photodynamic therapy can be used for highly effective, long-lasting destruction of endometrial epithelium. However, optical dosimetry can vary, particularly in the rabbit model, and this appears to have an impact on long-term reepithelialization.