Article

Biomarkers of endometriosis.

Department of Development and Regeneration, Sexual, Pelvic, Reproductive, and Family Studies, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium.
Fertility and sterility (Impact Factor: 3.97). 02/2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.01.097
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A noninvasive test for endometriosis would be useful for the early detection of endometriosis in symptomatic women who have pelvic pain and/or subfertility with normal ultrasound results. This would include nearly all cases of minimal-to-mild endometriosis, some cases of moderate-to-severe endometriosis without a clearly visible ovarian endometrioma, and cases with pelvic adhesions and/or other pelvic pathology that might benefit from surgery to improve pelvic pain and/or subfertility. This overview discusses the diagnostic performance of noninvasive or semi-invasive tests for endometriosis, including panels of known peripheral blood biomarkers, protein/peptide markers discovered by proteomics, miRNA, and endometrial nerve fiber density. Tests with high sensitivity and acceptable specificity have been developed; some have been validated in independent populations and are therefore promising. To make real progress, international agreement on biobank development is needed for standard operating procedures for the collection, treatment, storage, and analysis of tissue samples and for detailed clinical phenotyping of these samples. Furthermore, it is necessary to validate the diagnostic accuracy of any promising test prospectively in an independent symptomatic patient population with subfertility and/or pain without clear ultrasound evidence of endometriosis and with a clinical indication for surgery, divided into cases with laparoscopically and histologically confirmed endometriosis and controls with laparoscopically confirmed absence of endometriosis.

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