The expression of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 in endometriosis

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Objective: To investigate the association between concentrations of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and interferon-γ (IFN- γ) with regard to the severity of endometriosis. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Infertility unit in a university hospital. Patient(s): Seventy-one infertile patients who underwent laparoscopic evaluation were divided into two groups: 36 patients with endometriosis served as cases, and 35 patients without endometriosis served as control subjects. Intervention(s): Peripheral blood and peritoneal fluid (PF) were collected from these patients during laparoscopic examination. Main Outcome Measure(s): Quantitative determination of levels of human ICAM-1 and IFN-γ was performed with the use of an ELISA. The data were evaluated by Student's t-test, analysis of variance, and regression analysis. Result(s): Significantly elevated levels of soluble ICAM-1 were found in the sera of patients with endometriosis, especially those with advanced stages of the disease. Decreased IFN-γ levels, which were negatively correlated with serum levels of soluble ICAM-1, also were noted in the PF of patients with endometriosis. Conclusion(s): The increased serum levels of ICAM-1 found in patients with endometriosis may indicate the presence of an active disease process. Further, the increased levels of soluble ICAM-1 in peripheral blood were inversely correlated with the concentrations of IFN-γ in PF. The increased levels of soluble ICAM-1 in plasma may be associated with an immunologic feedback response that blocks further infiltration of immune cells. These findings may be of value in the diagnosis and evaluation of endometriosis.

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Wu, M. H., Yang, B. C., Hsu, C. C., Lee, Y. C., & Huang, K. E. (1998). The expression of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 in endometriosis. Fertility and Sterility, 70(6), 1139–1142.

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