Since the first description about oxygen toxicity made by Joseph Priestley, the oxidative stress has been enrolled as a key factor in the pathogenesis of endometriosis. Our aim was to review oxidative stress biomarkers measured in patients with endometriosis.
Relevant studies were identified by searches of the MEDLINE database from 1990 to March 2011 using endometriosis, free radical and oxidative stress as mesh terms. We only included manuscripts in English, and review articles were excluded. In addition, free radical chemistry and oxidative stress history were discussed.
After inclusion and exclusion criteria, 19 articles were selected to be included in this systematic review. A total of 36 oxidative stress biomarkers (20 different markers) were measured in patients with endometriosis. Some of the markers were measured in more than one manuscript. They were arranged in five subgroups: Enzymatic activity (n = 3), Anions/free radicals (n = 5), Lipoperoxidation markers (n = 7), DNA Damage markers (n = 1), and Protein oxidation (n = 4). Of those 36 markers, 23 were found to be significantly higher in patients with endometriosis comparing with control patients.
Oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis and progression of endometriosis.