STUDY QUESTION: How does endothelial function change in women with endometriosis after surgical treatment?
SUMMARY ANSWER: Surgical treatment of endometriosis leads to endothelial function improvement, resulting in reduction of cardiovascular risk.
WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Some recent studies have demonstrated that in young women with endometriosis, even if structural alterations are absent, endothelial dysfunction, expressed as flow-mediated dilation (FMD) impairment, can nevertheless occur. However, there are no data about changes of endothelial function in women with endometriosis after surgical treatment of endometriosis.
STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: This is a follow-up study carried out in 68 women enrolled in a previous study. Endothelial function was evaluated 2 years after surgical procedure and compared with baseline values.
PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Twenty-two patients who had undergone surgical treatment of endometriosis (named as patients with STE) and 10 control subjects without endometriosis, from the original study sample participated in this follow-up study. Assessment of endothelial function by FMD evaluation and measurements of serum markers of endothelial activation and inflammation were done in all these subjects.
MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: After a 2-year follow-up period, FMD increased significantly with respect to baseline values among patients with STE [average pre- to post-difference: 5.07%, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 3.50, 6.63%; P < 0.001] but not among controls (average pre- to post-difference: 1.56%, 95% CI -0.55, 3.67%; P = 0.13). Follow-up FMD values were not significantly different between patients with STE and controls (average difference 1.50%, 95% CI -1.24, 4.23%; P = 0.27). Follow-up markers of inflammation and endothelial cells activation were similar among patients with STE and controls.
LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: Although this study represents the first in the literature assessing endothelial function after surgical treatment of endometriosis, further longitudinal studies are desirable to define better the real risk that women with a history of endometriosis will develop cardiovascular events.
WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Endothelial dysfunction may be a better predictor of future cardiovascular events than traditional risk factors and the improvement in endothelial function we observed in patients after STE may have significant implications for their future cardiovascular risk.
- Endothelium, Vascular
- Follow-Up Studies
- Regional Blood Flow
- endothelial dysfunction
- surgical treatment