Progesterone Receptor Status of Epithelial Cells as a Predictive Marker for Postoperative Recurrence of Endometriosis

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2022 May 17;107(6):1552-1559. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgac118.


Context: Progesterone resistance including progesterone receptor (PR) deficiency contributes to the pathophysiology of endometriosis; however, whether the PR expression levels in ovarian endometrioma (OE) correlate with the postoperative recurrence of endometriosis remains unclear.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the association between PR expression levels in OE and the recurrence of endometriosis.

Methods: OE specimens were obtained from 132 patients who underwent conservative surgery for endometriosis. The PR expression levels were evaluated using the H score after immunohistochemical staining.

Results: Of the 132 patients, 36 (27.3%) experienced recurrence and 96 (72.7%) did not. No differences were observed in the patient characteristics between the recurrence and nonrecurrence groups except for follow-up period. PR immunoreactivity in the epithelial cells (ECs) was statistically significantly lower in the recurrent group than in the nonrecurrent group (P < .01); however, this change was not observed in the stromal cells. Moreover, multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that the H score of PR in ECs was an independent factor and was statistically significantly associated with the recurrence of endometriosis (P = .01). Furthermore, we divided the patients into PR-negative or PR-positive groups. The cumulative recurrence rate in the negative PR group was statistically significantly higher than that in the positive PR group (P = .046).

Conclusion: Low PR expression levels in OE-ECs may predict the recurrence of endometriosis. The PR status in OE-ECs is associated with the pathophysiology of the recurrence of endometriosis, and optimized postoperative management for endometriosis may be provided by referring to the PR status.

Keywords: endometriosis; progesterone receptor; recurrence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Endometriosis* / diagnosis
  • Endometriosis* / metabolism
  • Endometriosis* / surgery
  • Endometrium / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism
  • Uterine Diseases*


  • Biomarkers
  • Receptors, Progesterone