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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.26 SNIP: 0.375 CiteScore™: 1.4

ISSN Print: 0278-940X
ISSN Online: 1943-619X

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.2018027414
pages 277-288

Review of Endometriosis Diagnosis through Advances in Biomedical Engineering

Ruchi Shah
Life Science, University of Toronto, Mississauga, Canada
Ravi P. Jagani
All Saints University, St. Vincent & the Grenadines


Endometriosis is characterized as the ectopic presence of endometrium in various locations within the abdominal cavity, such as the fallopian tube, the pouch of Douglas, the ovaries, outside the ovaries, and more. The inner lining of the uterus, endometrium, is a dynamic tissue that undergoes morphological and functional changes cyclically. The proliferation of endometrial cells during menstruation is influenced by increasing circulating estrogen levels. Adult progenitor stem cells are likely responsible for this remarkable regenerative capacity and hence, enhanced capacity to generate endometriosis. This chronic estrogen-dependent disease is characterized by the ectopic endometrial implant. The disorder occurs in 6%–10% of reproductive-aged women and in 35%–50% of women with pelvic pain and infertility. Currently, the preferred diagnostic methods are laparoscopic inspection by transvaginal ultrasound, MRI, and sensors. Diagnoses with transvaginal ultrasound have 92.7% sensitivity and 97% specificity in detecting endometriotic lesions. On average, MRI diagnoses of DIE have 74% sensitivity and 95% specificity. Lastly, chemical sensors have 91.7% sensitivity and 90.0% specificity in detecting endometriosis. The standard of care includes personalizing the treatment plan based on the individual's set of symptoms and their severity. Advances in biomedical engineering have aided professionals in personalizing the course of treatments as well as to increasing the quality of life of these patients through various therapies for managing pain. Because no one theory provides a full explanation for the manifestation of the disease, hormonal therapies, targeted therapeutics, and surgical options have emerged as elements of disease management. Clinicians are in the process of developing advanced pharmaceutical drugs with specific orphan target receptors of the ectopic tissue. Possible complications that accompany the condition include dyspareunia, hyperalgesia, infertility, and many others.

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