Use of the concomitant serum dosage of CA 125, CA 19-9 and interleukin-6 to detect the presence of endometriosis. Results from a series of reproductive age women undergoing laparoscopic surgery for benign gynaecological conditions

E. Somigliana, P. Viganò, A. S. Tirelli, I. Felicetta, E. Torresani, M. Vignali, A. M. Di Blasio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Recent studies have proposed the measurement of CA 19-9 and IL-6 as an alternative to CA 125 as markers for endometriosis. This study was performed in order to verify the clinical value of serum CA 125, CA 19-9 and IL-6 levels, either by themselves or combined, in the detection of the disease. Methods: In a prospective cohort study, serum concentrations of CA 125, CA 19-9 and IL-6 were measured in a consecutive series of 80 women of reproductive age who underwent laparoscopy for benign gynaecological pathologies. Results: Endometriosis was documented in 45 women (stage I-II in 14 cases and stage III-IV in 31 cases). Patients with endometriosis had significantly higher levels of CA 125 than controls [23.4 IU/ml (13.3-37.6) versus 11.4 IU/ml (9.1-18.5), P <0.001)]. Conversely, women with and without the disease were shown to have similar levels of both IL-6 pg/ml [0.6 (undetectable-1.4) versus 1.0 pg/ml (0.4-1.9), P = 0.09] and CA 19-9 [9.8 IU/ml (4.5-20.8) versus 7.4 IU/ml (2.8-11.5), P = 0.11]. The area under the receiver operating characteristics curve resulted in a statistically significant difference from the null hypothesis only for CA 125 (P <0.001). Sensitivity and specificity of CA 125 were 27 and 97% respectively and were higher than those related to CA 19-9 and IL-6. Concomitant use of the three dosages led to a sensitivity and a specificity of 42 and 71% respectively. Conclusions: The concomitant dosage of CA 125, CA 19-9 and IL-6 does not add significant information in respect to the CA 125 test alone in diagnosing either early or advanced stages of endometriosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1871-1876
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004



  • CA 125
  • CA 19-9
  • Diagnosis
  • Endometriosis
  • IL-6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine

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