Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica vol:73 issue:4 pages:333-7
OBJECTIVE. We recently described a decreased lymphocyte-mediated cytotoxicity to autologous endometrium and to natural killer-sensitive targets in women with endometriosis. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether the defect remained after CO2-laser excision of the endometriotic lesions. DESIGN. In 15 women with endometriosis the cytotoxicity assays were performed before and three to four months after complete removal of the endometriotic lesions with CO2-laser excision. CA-125 serum levels were measured before and after laser laparoscopy, in order to confirm that endometriosis had been treated properly. RESULTS. After removal of the endometriotic lesions the decreased natural killer activity (K562-assay) and the impaired cytotoxicity of autologous and even heterologous lymphocytes to the endometrium remained unchanged, and those cytotoxicity assays were still significantly decreased compared to the women without endometriosis. CA-125 serum concentrations, however, were still significantly decreased three to four months after CO2-laser excision of the endometriosis. (paired Student's t-test p < 0.007). CONCLUSIONS. These data suggest a primary deficiency in natural killer activity in women with endometriosis and are in accordance with our clinical experience as endometriosis is relapsing frequently after treatment.