FRIDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Nerve fiber density is higher in endometrial biopsies from women with endometriosis and could be used as a diagnostic test, according to two studies published online Aug. 18 in Human Reproduction.
In the first study, Attila Bokor, M.D., from the University of Leuven in Belgium, and colleagues compared the density of small nerve fibers by staining with several neural markers in secretory phase endometrium samples from 20 women with confirmed minimal to mild endometriosis and 20 women with a normal pelvis. They found that the density was about 14 times higher in women with endometriosis and could predict minimal to mild endometriosis with 95 percent sensitivity, 100 percent specificity, and 97.5 percent accuracy.
In the second study, Moamar Al-Jefout, M.D., from the University of Sydney in Australia, and colleagues measured nerve fiber density using a single neural marker in 64 women with endometriosis and 35 women without endometriosis. They found they could predict endometriosis with 83 percent specificity, 98 percent sensitivity, 91 percent positive predictive value, and 96 percent negative predictive value. Menstrual cycle phase did not affect nerve fiber density.
"Endometrial biopsy, with detection of nerve fibers, provided a reliability of diagnosis of endometriosis which is close to the accuracy of laparoscopic assessment by experienced gynecological laparoscopists," Al-Jefout and colleagues conclude.