Some studies have suggested a possible role of leptin, an active cytokine produced by adipocytes, in the pathogenesis of pelvic endometriosis. The present study was designed to assess leptin levels in the peritoneal fluid PF of women with the 'deep' or 'superficial' types of ovarian endometriosis. Twenty-seven women with a single ovarian endometrioma having a mean diameter between 3 and 5 cm were included in the study. Patients were divided into two groups according to the type of ovarian endometriosis: Group A n 11 consisted of women with 'superficial' endometriomas located at the ovarian surface; Group B n 16 included patients with 'deep' intra-ovarian endometriomas. Women undergoing laparoscopy for unexplained infertility and not affected by pelvic andor ovarian endometriosis were considered as controls Group C, n 10. Patients with an ovarian endometrioma had significantly increased PF leptin concentrations than endometriosis-free controls Groups A and B vs. Group C, p <0.01. Patients with 'superficial' endometriomas had significantly higher PF leptin levels compared with patients with 'deep' endometriomas Group A vs. B, p <0.01. This difference remained significant after correction for the BMI; moreover, a positive correlation between PF leptin and BMI was observed in Groups B and C, but not in women with 'superficial' endometrioma Group A. Our observations suggest that: a leptin could play an active role in promoting the development of 'superficial' ovarian endometriomas and b 'superficial' and 'deep' ovarian endometriomas could have a different pathogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology