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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2004 October;56(5):419-36

language: English

Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis

Schindler A. E.


Endometriosis is generally a benign condition. However, there is a tendency towards progression and in part deep infiltrating processes occur, which can lead to obstruction and even silent loss of organ function such as kidney failure. Hereditary, genetic and immunological peculiarities have been found. Important are symptoms such as pain and infertility, which burden the life of the women involved. In spite of extensive research in the past the pathogenesis and epidemiology of the disease are not definitely clarified as yet. The estimated prevalence of endometriosis ranges between 10% and even more than 50% depending on the underlying problems of the women studied. Besides the main location of the disease within the pelvis also extra pelvic locations have been found (lung, lymphnotes, scars). The diagnosis should be established by histological verification. The main therapeutic modalities consist of surgery and medical treatment or combinations, which need to be individually adjusted, because of the high risk of recurrence and progression of the disease. The aim should be early detection and treatment as complete as possible, since symptom relief, resolution or prevention of infertility and decrease of recurrences are at their best under these circumstances.

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