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Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Update

Just wanted to say sorry for not posting anything for a while, between my day job and writing my thesis I haven’t had much time to do much else. Anyway, enough of my excuse making, I thought I’d give a quick update on what has been going on in the field of endometriosis research in the past couple of weeks. Here is a quick selection of some of the more interesting articles published.

Since my last post on the 8th of September there have been 96 papers published on endometriosis with a wide variety of subjects (according to PubMed).

There have been several publications on the link between ovarian cancer and endometriosis. There have even been a few papers on the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in endometriosis (my specialist field).

There was also a paper which found 30% of the patients with endometriosis they examined also had irritable bowel syndrome or constipation.

Aromatase inhibitors were found to be effective at reducing the proliferation of endometriotic implants in a mouse model.

Phthalates, which are artificial compounds thought to act as an oestrogen and very hard to pronounce, were found to be no higher in the urine of Japanese women with endometriosis when compared to controls. However, this study falls into a trap that is a personal pet peeve of mine, which is analysing the levels of these compounds in women who already have the disease. A better study design would be to analyse the frequency of endometriosis either in the children of women exposed to artificial oestrogenic compounds or in women exposed at a very young age.

Contrary to the above, levels of another type of synthetic oestrogen, Bisphenol A and B, were found to be higher in the blood serum of women with endometriosis.

IVF treatment does not increase the risk of endometriosis recurrence.

Endometriosis was diagnosed in two sisters with Glanzmann's thrombasthenia (GT), a very rare blood clotting disorder which leads to prolonged bleeding. This is considered significant as women with GT are more likely to have prolonged periods of menstrual bleeding, a factor which is thought to increase the susceptibility to endometriosis. This perhaps garnishes some support for the retrograde menstruation origin theory of endometriosis.

Apparently marmosets (a type of small New World monkey) can develop endometriosis.

If you have are of the type A blood group, you are 2.9 fold more at risk of endometriosis. The relationship between blood groups and endometriosis remains to be explained.

It appears that the normal endometrium of women with endometriosis has increased proliferative activity, meaning that it grows quicker than normal. What could be causing this increased proliferation remains to be found.

Pregnant women with endometriosis are apparently more at risk of suffering spontaneous hemoperitoneum (bleeding into the peritoneal cavity). However, I should point out that hemoperitoneum is rare.

Interesting case report of a 42 year old woman who, even after a hysterectomy and right oopherectomy, still presented with monthly bleeding. The cause was found to be an endometriotic cyst on the left ovary.

That is the news for now, hopefully I’ll get to post more soon.

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