What is the role of metaplasia in the etiology of endometriosis?

Updated: May 10, 2021
  • Author: G Willy Davila, MD; Chief Editor: Michel E Rivlin, MD  more...
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Metaplasia, or the changing from one normal type of tissue to another normal type of tissue, is another theory. The endometrium and the peritoneum are derivatives of the same coelomic wall epithelium. Transformation of coelomic epithelium into endometrial-type glands in response to as yet unknown stimuli could explain endometriosis in unusual sites. [22] Coelomic metaplasia is also believed to explain the occurrence of endometriosis in women who have undergone total hysterectomy and are not taking estrogen replacement. [23] Peritoneal mesothelium has been postulated to retain its embryologic ability to transform into reproductive tissue. Such transformation may occur spontaneously, or it may be facilitated by exposure to chronic irritation by retrograde menstrual fluid.

Endometriosis may also occur in men on high-dose estrogen therapy. [24]

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