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Endometrial Anomalies in Women with Endometriosis



    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Animal Sciences; Division of Ob/Gyn Research; and MU Hospital and Clinics Assisted Reproduction Laboratories, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65212, USA
    • Address for correspondence: Dr. Kathy L. Sharpe-Timms, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, l Hospital Drive N625 HSC, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65212. Voice: 573-882-7937. Fax: 573-882-9010;

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Endometriotic lesions are defined by extrauterine growth of endometrial glands and stroma. Retrograde menstruation with subsequent attachment, invasion, and neovascularization are believed to give rise to the endometriotic lesions. As most women exhibit some degree of retrograde menstruation, some other unidentified factor(s) must render certain women susceptible to attachment and growth of ectopic endometrial tissue. A variety of theories have been proposed to account for this susceptibility, including genetic predisposition, aberrant immunological response, and an altered peritoneal environment. Ectopic endometriotic lesions are histologically similar to their putative eutopic precursors, yet significant biochemical differences exist between these two tissues. Less information is available regarding differences between eutopic endometrium from women with or without endometriosis. This report describes anomalies in structure, proliferation, immune components, adhesion molecules, proteolytic enzymes and inhibitors, steroid and cytokine production and responsiveness, and gene expression and protein production that have been identified in eutopic endometrium from women with endometriosis.