Stromal cells present in menstrual effluent may offer a noninvasive way to test for endometriosis
Peter K. Gregersen |
At a Glance
- Endometriosis is a common condition – but few researchers are focusing heavily on its diagnosis or treatment
- Currently, the only definitive endometriosis diagnostic is laparoscopic observation of lesions
- Stromal and natural killer cells present in menstrual blood may offer a new, noninvasive way of identifying patients with the disease
- In the future, cell characteristics may also help personalize treatment for these patients
When patients present with pelvic pain or infertility, it’s not often that a doctor’s first thought is endometriosis. It can be even more difficult to have such symptoms taken seriously when the level of pain seems so disproportionate to the disease – and when the gold standard for diagnosis is laparoscopy or uterine biopsy, many physicians hesitate to suggest such invasive interventions for what is frequently perceived as a minor issue. But endometriosis is, in fact, anything but – and, with menstrual effluent providing a potential new, noninvasive approach to testing, patients with the condition may soon receive the diagnosis and treatment they so desperately seek.
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