Diagnosis of Endometriosis

Robert Z. Spaczynski, MD, PhD, Antoni J. Duleba, MD


Semin Reprod Med. 2003;21(2) 

In This Article


Diagnosis of endometriosis remains challenging. Despite an extensive search for new laboratory tests and advances in imaging technologies, at present there are no simple noninvasive diagnostic tests. Complete clinical assessment supported by selective and critical use of laboratory and imaging studies can help in the identification of a high-risk patient population. However, in a large proportion of cases, diagnosis of endometriosis requires careful laparoscopic evaluation combined with a thoughtful interpretation of histological examination of excised lesions. Misdiagnoses and underdiagnoses of endometriosis are due not only to the limitations of diagnostic tools but also to a lack of recognition of the symptoms by the patients and physicians. Although in a large proportion of patients, early diagnosis of endometriosis is essential for the formulation of an appropriate treatment plan, one should keep in mind that detection of endometriosis in asymptomatic women does not automatically necessitate medical or surgical intervention.


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