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Relating Pelvic Pain Location to Surgical Findings of Endometriosis

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study whether pain location is related to lesion location in women with chronic pelvic pain and biopsy-proven endometriosis.

METHODS:

A secondary analysis was performed to compare self-reported pain location with recorded laparoscopy findings for location and characteristics of all visible lesions. All lesions were excised. Endometriosis was diagnosed using histopathology criteria. The pelvic area was divided into three anterior and two posterior regions. Lesion depth, number of lesions or endometriomas, and disease burden (defined as sum of lesion sizes, or single compared with multiple lesions) were determined for each region. Data were analyzed using t tests, Fisher exact tests, and logistic regression modeling, with P values corrected for multiple comparisons using the step-down Bonferroni method.

RESULTS:

Women with endometriosis (n=96) had lower body mass indexes, were more likely to be white, had more previous surgeries, and had more frequent menstrual pain and incapacitation than did chronic pain patients without endometriosis (n=37). Overall, few patients had deeply infiltrating lesions (n=38). Dysuria was associated with superficial bladder peritoneal lesions. Other lesions or endometriomas were not associated with pain in the same anatomic locations. Lesion depth, disease burden, and number of lesions or endometriomas were not associated with pain.

CONCLUSION:

In this group of women with biopsy-proven endometriosis, few had deeply infiltrating lesions or endometriomas. Dysuria and midline anterior pain were the only symptoms associated with the location of superficial endometriosis lesions. The lack of relationship between pain and superficial lesion location raises questions about how these lesions relate to pain.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov, www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT00001848.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

II

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