Aromatase Expression Could Be Tied to Severity of Endometriosis
Reuters Health Information 2007. © 2007 Reuters Ltd.
By David Douglas
Found story at

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Aug 07 - Disease progression and pain appear to be particularly prevalent in women with endometriosis accompanied by some degree of aromatase expression, according to Spanish researchers.

"The presence of aromatase in endometriotic tissues suggests major severity and activity of the endometriosis, and more chronic pelvic pain in these patients," lead investigator Dr. Pedro Acien told Reuters Health.

In the July issue of Fertility and Sterility, Dr. Acien, of San Juan University Hospital, Alicante, and colleagues note that they studied 62 women with endometriosis and 12 controls without the condition.

The women underwent conservative surgery or hysterectomy and adnexectomy. To study aromatase expression, tissue samples were collected during the procedures.

The researchers observe that only the presence or absence of aromatase was evaluated. However, positive expression was seen in the endometriotic tissue from 38 (61.3%) of patients with histologically-confirmed endometriosis. None of the women without endometriosis showed aromatase expression.

There were no marked differences between patients with and without aromatase. This was probably due, write the investigators, to the low number of cases.

However, positive patients had a higher number of endometriomas, more bilaterality, and more moderate-to-severe chronic pelvic pain. Infertility and associated leiomyomas were also more frequent.

In light of these and other findings, the team concludes that "molecular alterations such as the presence of aromatase in endometriotic tissues could be involved in the development or maintenance of endometriosis."

Fertil Steril 2007;88:32-38.

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