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Hum Reprod. 2002 Feb;17(2):426-31.

Prediction of endometriosis with serum and peritoneal fluid markers: a prospective controlled trial.

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Center for Advanced Research in Human Reproduction, Infertility, and Sexual Function, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.



The objective of this prospective controlled trial was to investigate the ability of a group of serum and peritoneal fluid (PF) markers to predict, non-surgically, endometriosis.


Serum and PF samples were obtained from 130 women while undergoing laparoscopy for pain, infertility, tubal ligation or sterilization reversal. Concentrations of six cytokines [interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, IL-13 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha] were measured in serum and PF, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in PF, and levels were compared among women who were allocated to groups according to their post-surgical diagnosis. Fifty-six patients were diagnosed with endometriosis, eight with idiopathic infertility, 27 underwent tubal ligation or reanastomosis (control group) and 39 were excluded due to bloody PF. Only serum IL-6 and PF TNF-alpha could be used to discriminate between patients with and without endometriosis with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity (P < 0.001). A threshold of 15 pg/ml PF TNF-alpha provided 100% sensitivity and 89% specificity (positive likelihood ratio of 9.1 and negative likelihood ratio of 0). A threshold of 2 pg/ml for serum IL-6 provided a sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 67% (positive likelihood ratio of 2.7 and negative likelihood ratio of 0.14).


By measuring serum IL-6 and PF TNF-alpha, it was possible to discriminate between patients with endometriosis and those without. Before these markers can be used as a non-surgical diagnostic tool, these data should be verified in a larger study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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