'Blood on the Tracks' from corpora lutea to endometriomas

P. Vercellini, E. Somigliana, P. Vigano, A. Abbiati, G. Barbara, L. Fedele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To detect a direct transition from a haemorrhagic corpus luteum to an endometriotic cyst by serial transvaginal ultrasonographic scans. Design: Prospective observational study. Setting: An academic tertiary care and referral centre for women with endometriosis. Population: One hundred and nine women younger than 40 years, with regular menstrual cycles, undergoing first-line surgery for endometriomas, and not wanting postoperative oral contraception. Methods: Three-monthly transvaginal ultrasonography during the luteal phase for 2 years after surgery. Main outcome measure: Sonographic identification of progression from a haemorrhagic corpus luteum to a recurrent endometriotic cyst. Results: A haemorrhagic corpus luteum was identified in 13 women. Serial ultrasonographic scans demonstrated transition to an endometriotic cyst in 11 (85%) instances and resorption in two. A unilateral endometriotic cyst without previous detection of a cystic corpus luteum was observed in 14 women. Conclusions: Bleeding from a corpus luteum appears to be a critical event in the development of endometriomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-371
Number of pages6
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • Corpus luteum
  • Endometrioma
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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