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Hum Reprod. 2005 Jul;20(7):2014-20. Epub 2005 Apr 7.

Oxidative stress and endometriosis.

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Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.



Little is known about the aetiology of endometriosis; however, in the presence of oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species might increase growth and adhesion of endometrial cells in the peritoneal cavity, leading to endometriosis and infertility. Within a study investigating persistent organic compounds and endometriosis, the authors evaluated the association between oxidative stress and endometriosis.


Women aged 18-40 years who were undergoing laparoscopy were contacted to participate in the study (n = 100); 84 were eligible and agreed to be interviewed; 78 provided blood specimens. Four markers of oxidative stress and antioxidant status were measured in serum for 61 women. Multiple imputation of missing data was used to generate values for the missing oxidative stress data.


Thirty-two women had visually confirmed endometriosis at laparoscopy while 52 did not, including 22 undergoing tubal ligation and 30 with idiopathic infertility. There was a weak association between thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (nmol/ml) and endometriosis, after adjusting for age, body mass index, current smoking, hormone use in the past 12 months, gravidity, serum vitamin E, serum estradiol, and total serum lipids (beta = 1.18; 95% CI-0.04, 2.39).


These results suggest that oxidative stress might play a role in the development and progression of endometriosis, which should be evaluated in larger studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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