Ultrastructural aspects of endometrium in infertile women with septate uterus

L. Fedele, S. Bianchi, M. Marchini, D. Franchi, L. Tozzi, M. Dorta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To evaluate the endometrial surface morphology in patients with septate uterus and primary infertility in an attempt to throw light on the question of whether endometrial anomalies are involved in the pathogenesis of infertility in women with mullerian malformations. Design: Endometrial biopsies were performed in eight women with septate uterus and primary infertility during hysteroscopy scheduled in the preovulatory phase of the cycle (when a follicle > 17 mm was identified by ultrasonography and E 2 levels were >200 pg/mL [conversion factor to SI unit, 3.671]). Two samples were obtained from each patient, one from endometrium covering the septum and the other from endometrium lining the lateral wall of the uterus. All specimens were examined by scanning electron microscopy. Main Outcome Measures: The number of glandular ostia, the ciliated:nonciliated cell ratio, and the number of cilia on ciliated cells were analyzed in endometrial specimen from both the covering of the septum and the corresponding uterine lateral wall. Results: In five patients septal endometrium showed the following defective preovulatory changes with respect to endometrium of the lateral uterine wall: a reduced number of glandular ostia, irregular nonciliated cells with rare microvilli, incomplete ciliogenesis on ciliated cells, and decrease in the ciliated:nonciliated cell ratio (1:52 ± 11 versus 1:21 ± 8). Conclusions: Our results indicate a decrease in the sensitivity of endometrium covering the septa of malformed uteri to preovulatory hormonal changes. This could play a role in the pathogenesis of primary infertility in patients with septate uterus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-752
Number of pages3
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • endometrium
  • infertility
  • Septate uterus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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