Endometriosis is a common disorder amongst women of reproductive age. Endometriosis, the presence of endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus, is a disease associated with pelvic pain and infertility. Endometriosis afflicts about 10% of women worldwide. In women with pain, infertility or both, the frequency of endometriosis increases to 35-60%. It is one of the most frequent benign gynecological diseases.
Endometriosis continues to remain a significantly underdiagnosed and under-treated disease. Despite recent progress in the understanding of this disease, the mainstay of diagnosis is still the direct visualization of the lesions by invasive procedure such as a laparoscopy.
One of the major challenges facing gynecologists is the inability to diagnose endometriosis without the need for laparoscopy or laparotomy.
The endometrial cells have been isolated from peripheral blood in more than 20 % of patients with advanced endometriosis. These cells can be described as circulating endometrial cells (CECs). The occurrence of CECs in peripheral blood is a clear and very specific evidence of endometrial disease. However, CECs are probably extraordinarily rare, with only a few CECs circulating amongst billions of blood cells, but presence of these cells could be a new and very specific biomarker of endometriosis