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. 2020 Mar;40(3):399-408.
doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2019.12.005. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Endometrioma, the Follicular Fluid Inflammatory Network and Its Association With Oocyte and Embryo Characteristics


Endometrioma, the Follicular Fluid Inflammatory Network and Its Association With Oocyte and Embryo Characteristics

Jennifer Yland et al. Reprod Biomed Online. .


Research question: What is the association between endometrioma-affected ovaries, their follicular fluid inflammatory microenvironment, and ovary-specific oocyte and embryo yield and quality?

Design: Exposure-matched prospective cohort study conducted at a university-affiliated infertility clinic. Thirty-four women presenting for oocyte retrieval were enrolled between 2012 and 2013: women with unilateral endometrioma and no other observed peritoneal or deep lesions (n = 10) and women with no signs or symptoms of endometriosis (n = 24). Follicular fluid was aspirated at the time of oocyte retrieval. Samples from each ovary were analysed using a 27-plex immunoassay panel. The associations were evaluated by ovary-specific endometrioma exposure status (affected, unaffected, unexposed) with cytokine levels, oocyte yield and embryo quality.

Results: Levels of interleukin (IL)-8 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 were higher in fluid obtained from endometrioma-affected ovaries compared with the unexposed ovaries from women without endometriosis, with intermediate levels observed in the contralateral unaffected ovaries. More modest differences were observed for IL-1β and IL-6. The affected ovaries of women with endometriosis yielded fewer oocytes (mean ± SD = 4.6 ± 2.3) compared with both the unaffected (6.0 ± 3.8) and unexposed (7.9 ± 5.6) ovaries. After adjusting for potential confounders and variables generated in a cytokine principal components analysis, oocyte yield remained slightly lower for the endometrioma-affected ovaries compared with unexposed ovaries. No informative differences among ovary groups for embryo quality parameters were observed.

Conclusions: The results suggest that the inflammatory milieu of ovarian endometriosis is strongly localized and has a more modestly systemic effect. The effect of endometriomas on infertility, however, cannot be entirely explained by increased inflammation.

Keywords: Cytokines; Embryo quality; Endometrioma; Infertility; Inflammation; Oocyte quality.

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