Prospective Evaluation of a Panel of Plasma Cytokines and Chemokines as Potential Markers of Pelvic Endometriosis in Symptomatic Women

Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2016;81(6):512-517. doi: 10.1159/000443956. Epub 2016 Feb 13.


Background: Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease for which no accurate peripheral diagnostic marker is available. Many cytokines and chemokines have been found altered in the plasma and peritoneal fluid of women with endometriosis compared to healthy controls, but little is known about their diagnostic utility to confirm or discard endometriosis among symptomatic women.

Objective: The study aims to assess the diagnostic value of a panel of plasma cytokines and chemokines to detect endometriosis in women undergoing laparoscopy for gynecological complains.

Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study evaluating simultaneously plasma concentrations of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, MCP-1/CCL2, IP-10/CXCL10 and eotaxin/CCL11 in 75 symptomatic women (chronic pelvic pain, infertility or ovarian cyst) submitted to laparoscopy. Assays were performed by Cytometric Bead Array System. Endometriosis was confirmed by histopathological examination of surgical specimens.

Results: Plasma IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, MCP-1/CCL2, IP-10/CXCL10 and eotaxin/CCL11 concentrations were not able to distinguish the women who eventually were diagnosed with endometriosis.

Conclusion: Although previously shown to be altered in women with endometriosis compared to healthy women, the tested cytokines and chemokines were not useful to predict the presence of endometriosis among symptomatic women. This finding suggests that inflammatory markers modified by endometriosis may also be altered by other conditions associated with similar symptoms, which limits their use in clinical practice.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Chemokines / blood
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Endometriosis / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines