New evidence of the presence of endometriosis in the human fetus

Reprod Biomed Online. 2010 Jul;21(1):142-7. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2010.04.002. Epub 2010 Apr 4.


The aetiology of endometriosis, a gynaecological disease defined by the histological presence of endometrial glands and stroma outside the uterine cavity, is still open to debate. Research has recently found evidence for endometriosis in human female fetuses at different gestational ages. This paper reports a new case of fetal endometriosis in a 25-week female fetus, deceased due to placental pathology, from a series of 13 female fetuses analysed at autopsy. The exact anatomical localization of this misplaced endometrium, as well as its histopathological and immunohistochemical characteristics are illustrated. The case suggests that endometriosis can be caused by dislocation of primitive endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity during organogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Endometriosis / embryology*
  • Endometriosis / etiology
  • Endometrium / pathology
  • Female
  • Fetus / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry