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Patients With Endometriosis of the Rectosigmoid Have a Higher Percentage of Natural Killer Cells in Peripheral Blood

Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
Publication Date
  • Diagnosis
  • Endometriosis
  • Natural Killer Cells
  • Rectosigmoid Endometriosis
  • Ecology
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine


Study Objective: To estimate the concentration of natural killer (NK) cells in the peripheral blood in patients with and without endometriosis. Design: Case-control study (Canadian Task Force classification II-2). Setting: Tertiary referral hospital. Patients: One hundred fifty-five patients who had undergone videolaparoscopy were divided into 2 groups: those with endometriosis (n = 100) and those without endometriosis (n = 55). Interventions: The percentage of NK cells relative to peripheral lymphocytes was quantified at flow cytometry in 155 patients who had undergone laparoscopy. In addition to verifying the presence of endometriosis, stage of disease and the sites affected were also evaluated. Measurements and Main Results: The mean (SD) percentage of NK cells was higher (15.3% [9.8%]) in patients with endometriosis than in the group without the disease (10.6% [5.8%]) (p < .001). The percentage of NK cells was highest (19.8 [10.3%]) in patients with advanced stages of endometriosis and in those in whom the rectosigmoid colon was affected. In a statistical model of probability, the association of this marker (NK cells >= 11%) with the presence of symptoms such as pain and intestinal bleeding during menstruation and the absence of previous pregnancy yielded a 78% likelihood of the rectosigmoid colon being affected. Conclusion: Compared with patients without endometriosis, those with endometriosis demonstrate a higher concentration of peripheral NK cells. The percentage of NK cells is greater, primarily in patients with advanced stages of endometriosis involving the rectosigmoid colon. Therefore, it may serve as a diagnostic marker for this type of severe endometriosis, in particular if considered in conjunction with the symptoms. Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology (2012) 19, 317-324 (C) 2012 AAGL. All rights reserved.

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