Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Objective To investigate uterotubal transport by means of hysterosalpingoscintigraphy (HSSG) in women with and without endometriosis.Design A prospective observational study.Setting University Hospital, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Division of Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecologic Endocrinology with 350 in vitro fertilisation (IVF)/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles and 400 intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycles/year.Population Cases included 56 infertile women with laparoscopic proven endometriosis and patent fallopian tubes. Twenty-two women with partners suffering from male factor infertility served as controls.Methods A diagnostic cycle incorporating HSSG was performed. Subsequently, patients underwent either four cycles of timed intercourse (TI) or IUI in order to achieve pregnancy. If pregnancy did not occur, IVF or ICSI was performed.Main outcome measures Evaluation of uterotubal transport capacity in women with endometriosis and healthy controls.Results Patients suffering from endometriosis (group I) showed a significant reduction in physiologic uterotubal transport function: While 20 patients (36%) had ipsi- or bilateral uterotubal transport, there was pathological uterotubal transport contralateral to the dominant follicle or a complete failure of transport capacity (negative HSSG) in 36 patients (64%). In the controls (group II), transport function was significantly different: 15 of 22 patients (68%) revealed ipsi- and bilateral tubal demonstration, while 5 patients (22%) showed contralateral transport and 2 patients (10%) showed negative HSSG (P= 0.01). Twenty-three pregnancies were observed (pregnancy rate: 29%). Eleven out of 14 (79%) women with ipsi- or bilateral tubal transport function fell pregnant by means of TI or IUI. In seven of nine patients (78%) with a failure in tubal transport, pregnancy was achieved by IVF/ICSI, despite acceptable semen parameters (P= 0.01).Conclusions Endometriosis is significantly associated with a reduction in physiologic uterotubal transport capacity compared with controls. This resulted in diminished pregnancy rates even in women with normozoospermic partners. Therefore, IVF/ICSI may be required even when fallopian tubes are patent or semen quality is normal.
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