Serum microRNAs as diagnostic markers of endometriosis: a comprehensive array-based analysis

Fertil Steril. 2016 Aug;106(2):402-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.04.013. Epub 2016 May 11.


Objective: To investigate serum microRNAs (miRNAs) in women with endometriosis.

Design: Case-control study.

Setting: University hospital.

Patient(s): Women with (n = 24) and without (n = 24) endometriosis.

Intervention(s): Serum samples were obtained from surgically diagnosed subjects.

Main outcome measure(s): miRNA from women with without endometriosis were used for microarray profiling and confirmed by means of quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed on differentially expressed miRNAs.

Result(s): miR-3613-5p, miR-6755-3p were down-regulated and miR-125b-5p, miR-150-5p, miR-342-3p, miR-143-3p, miR-145-5p, miR-500a-3p, miR-451a, miR-18a-5p were up-regulated more than 10-fold in the microarray. These results were confirmed with the use of qRT-PCR. Among the differentially expressed miRNAs, miR-125b-5p expression levels had the highest area under the ROC curve (AUC). The maximum AUC score of 1.000 was achieved when combining miR-125b-5p, miR-451a, and miR-3613-5p with the use of a logistic regression model.

Conclusion(s): We identified several miRNAs in serum that distinguished subjects with endometriosis from those without. miR-125b-5p had the greatest potential as a single diagnostic biomarker. A combination of that miRNA with miR-451a and miR-3613-5p further improved diagnostic performance.

Keywords: Endometriosis; biomarker; miRNA; microarray; serum.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Connecticut
  • Endometriosis / blood*
  • Endometriosis / diagnosis
  • Endometriosis / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • MicroRNAs / blood*
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis*
  • Phenotype
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • ROC Curve
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Seoul


  • Genetic Markers
  • MIRN125 microRNA, human
  • MIRN451 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs