Endometriosis is characterized by the presence of endometrial-like glands and stroma outside the uterine cavity and is believed to affect 6%-10% of reproductive-age women. Endometriosis within the lung parenchyma or on the diaphragm and pleural surfaces produces a range of clinical and radiological manifestations. This includes catamenial pneumothorax, hemothorax, hemoptysis, and pulmonary nodules, resulting in an entity known as thoracic endometriosis syndrome (TES).
Computerized searches of MEDLINE and PubMed were conducted using the key words "thoracic endometriosis," "catamenial pneumothorax," "catamenial hemothorax," and "catamenial hemoptysis." References from identified sources were manually searched to allow for a thorough review.
TES can produce incapacitating symptoms for some patients. Symptoms of TES are nonspecific, so a high degree of clinical suspicion is warranted. Medical management represents the first-line treatment approach. When this fails or is contraindicated, definitive surgical treatment for cases of suspected TES uses a combined video laparoscopy performed by a gynecologic surgeon and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery performed by a thoracic surgeon. Postoperative hormonal suppression may further reduce disease recurrence.