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Minerva Ginecologica 2009 August;61(4):285-98

language: English

Endometriosis: a critical appraisal of the advances and the controversies of a challenging health problem

Bedaiwy M. A.1,2,3, Abdel-Aleem M. A. 3, Miketa A. 2, Falcone T. 1

1 Departments of Obstetric/Gynecology and Women’s Health Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA
2 University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA
3 Departments of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Assiut University Hospitals, Assiut, Egypt


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Endometriosis is an enigmatic disorder with obscure pathogenesis. The objective of this review was to critically appraise the recent advances in the etiopathogenesis, diagnosis and clinical management of endometriosis. Several studies support the familial role in the initiation of the disease with key roles of endometriosis-associated polymorphisms in the genes that control fibrinolysis, angiogenesis, steroidogesis, aromatization of androgens, proliferation and cytokine production. Many active substances (cytokines, growth factors, hormones and oxidative stress parameters) have been identified in endometriosis patients at different stages of the disease. In addition to the traditional diagnostic role of ultrasonography and CA 125, evidence is accumulating regarding a potential role sonorectovaginography. Currently the routine use of antiflammatory drugs and birth control pills is not supported by evidence. New protocols of medications incorporation new gonadotrophin releasing hormone agonists with add back therapy, androgenic agents and aromatase inhibitors have been proposed. Prospective randomiazed controlled trials proved that surgical treatment of endometriosis is better than placebo for endometriosis related pain and infertility for patients with stage I and II disease.

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