Plasma urocortin-1 as a preoperative marker of endometriosis in symptomatic women.Gynecol Endocrinol. 2018 Mar; 34(3):202-205.GE
Accurate noninvasive diagnostic tests for endometriosis are still missing. This study evaluated the predictive value of the neuropeptide urocortin 1 (Ucn1) to detect pelvic endometriosis in symptomatic women. We enrolled prospectively 97 consecutive women submitted to gynecologic laparoscopy for chronic or acute pelvic pain, infertility or adnexal mass. Preoperative blood samples were assayed for Ucn1 using enzyme immunoassay. Patients with endometriosis had higher plasma Ucn1 levels compared to patients with no lesions (median 59 vs. 34 pg/ml, p < .01, Dunn's test). Elevated plasma Ucn1 levels were found among all endometriosis phenotypes (superficial peritoneal lesions, ovarian endometrioma, and deep infiltrating endometriosis, p < .05 vs. no lesions). Receiver operating characteristics curve analysis identified plasma Ucn1 > 46 pg/mL as the best cutoff point to detect endometriosis vs. no lesions, with 76% sensitivity and 88% specificity (area under the curve [AUC] 0.827, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.695 - 0.959), but no cutoff could accurately distinguish endometriosis from other pathological conditions (AUC 0.593 [95% CI 0.474 - 0.711]). In women with chronic pelvic pain, infertility, or both symptoms, the probability of endometriosis (positive predictive value) increased consistently with the increase of plasma Ucn1 levels. The present findings suggest that high plasma Ucn1 levels increase the likelihood of endometriosis in symptomatic women.