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Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Oct;10(5):365-9.

Endometriosis: abnormal endometrium and dysfunctional immune response.

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Institute for the Study and Treatment of Endometriosis, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


This review highlights recent studies that illuminate the role of the immune system in endometriosis. The findings are discussed in the framework of a model which proposes that endometriosis reflects an immunological selection process. Endometrial cells, which are inherently resistant to apoptosis and immune-mediated elimination, acquire the capacity to utilize the products of an activated immune system to establish ectopic foci of disease. Cyclical inflammatory/immune cell stimulation that fails to eliminate ectopic endometrial implants results in progressive immunological derangement and associated pathophysiological changes which are characteristic of the disease.

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