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Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2006;62(3):139-47. Epub 2006 May 4.

Is endometriosis associated with systemic subclinical inflammation?

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lubeck, Lubeck, Germany.


Endometriosis is a pelvic inflammatory process with altered function of immune-related cells and increased number of activated macrophages in the peritoneal environment that secrete various local products, such as growth factors and cytokines. The elevation of cytokines and other factors in the peritoneal fluid is accompanied by the elevation of similar factors, such as CRP, SAA, TNF-alpha, MCP-1, IL-6, IL-8 and CCR1, in the peripheral blood of patients with endometriosis. CD44+ and CD14+ monocytes are significantly increased, while CD3+ T lymphocytes and CD20+ B lymphocytes show modest, but significant decrease in peripheral blood of women with endometriosis. This indicates that endometriosis could be viewed as a local disease with systemic subclinical manifestations. This review provides an overview of data on the changes of various factors in peripheral blood and their potential use as diagnostic tools in patients with endometriosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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