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Gynecol Endocrinol. 2014 Jan;30(1):38-41. doi: 10.3109/09513590.2013.856409. Epub 2013 Nov 12.

Cytokeratin-19 as a biomarker in urine and in serum for the diagnosis of endometriosis--a prospective study.

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Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Medical University of Vienna , Vienna , Austria .


Endometriosis compromises the quality of life of countless women worldwide and is a leading cause of disability. Clinical symptoms of endometriosis can be very heterogeneous leading to a long interval between onset of symptoms and surgical diagnosis. A noninvasive, rapid diagnostic test is urgently needed. In this prospective study, we evaluated the usefulness of Cytokeratin-19 (CK19) as a biomarker for the diagnosis of endometriosis through urine and serum ELISA. 76 reproductive-aged women undergoing laparoscopy for benign conditions were included to this study and divided into two groups by the presence (n = 44) or absence (n = 32) of endometriosis. There was no statistically significant correlation between the concentration of CK19 in urine (p = 0.51) or in serum (p = 0.77) and the diagnosis of endometriosis. Assigning the samples to the proliferative or secretory cycle stage did not sufficiently lower the p values. In this study, the promising data reported in the recent literature about CK19 serving as a sufficient biomarker for endometriosis could not be verified when tested in a larger sample size. Further studies are warranted to explore the usefulness of CK19 in the diagnosis of endometriosis.

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