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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2006 December;58(6):527-51

language: English

Serum and peritoneal abnormalities in endometriosis: potential use as diagnostic markers

Gupta S. 1,2, Agarwal A. 1,2, Sekhon L. 1,2, Krajcir N. 1,2, Cocuzza M. 1,2, Falcone T. 1,2

1 Reproductive Research Center Glickman Urological Institute Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA


Endometriosis is an ambiguous disease and its exact pathogenesis still remains elusive to clinicians and scientists. Local and systemic aberrations in immune response are associated with endometriosis. This article reviews the literature regarding various immunological factors such as cytokines, growth factors, adhesion molecules and angiogenic factors involved in the etiopathogenesis of this disease. Our review summarizes the literature regarding biomarkers, which may be reliable nonsurgical tools used in the diagnosis of endometriosis. Superior biomarkers characterized by high sensitivity, specificity and predictive value can help in the early detection and monitoring of disease progression as well as its response to therapeutic treatments critical for its management. A combination predictive model utilizing multiple biomarkers rather then individual markers alone is proposed to improve the diagnostic performance for identifying women with a high likelihood of having endometriosis. Immunomodulators and angiogenic factor blockers have a potential for endometriosis treatment and also to alleviate the pain or infertility associated with the disease. Potential new therapeutic agents include modulators, such as cytokine receptor blockers and angiogenic receptor blockers, presently used for treating endometriosis.

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