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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 240702, 7 pages
Research Article

A Promise in the Treatment of Endometriosis: An Observational Cohort Study on Ovarian Endometrioma Reduction by N-Acetylcysteine

1Dipartimento di Scienze Ginecologico-Ostetriche e Scienze Urologiche, Università di Roma Sapienza, Viale del Policlinico 155, 00161 Roma, Italy
2Istituto di Farmacologia Traslazionale, CNR, Via del Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Roma, Italy
3Foundation for Acupuncture and Alternative Biological Treatment Methods, Sabbatsbergs Hospital, Olivecronas väg 1, 113 24 Stockholm, Sweden
4Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica e Malattie Infettive, Università di Roma Sapienza, Viale del Policlinico 155, 00161 Roma, Italy

Received 15 January 2013; Revised 9 April 2013; Accepted 9 April 2013

Academic Editor: Martin Kohlmeier

Copyright © 2013 Maria Grazia Porpora et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Urged by the unmet medical needs in endometriosis treatment, often with undesirable side effects, and encouraged by N-acetylcysteine (NAC) efficacy in an animal model of endometriosis and by the virtual absence of toxicity of this natural compound, we performed an observational cohort study on ovarian endometriosis. NAC treatment or no treatment was offered to 92 consecutive Italian women referred to our university hospital with ultrasound confirmed diagnosis of ovarian endometriosis and scheduled to undergo laparoscopy 3 months later. According to patients acceptance or refusal, NAC-treated and untreated groups finally comprised 73 and 72 endometriomas, respectively. After 3 months, within NAC-treated patients cyst mean diameter was slightly reduced ( 1.5 mm) versus a significant increase (+6.6 mm) in untreated patients ( ). Particularly, during NAC treatment, more cysts reduced and fewer cysts increased their size. Our results are better than those reported after hormonal treatments. Twenty-four NAC-treated patients—versus 1 within controls—cancelled scheduled laparoscopy due to cysts decrease/disappearance and/or relevant pain reduction (21 cases) or pregnancy (1 case). Eight pregnancies occurred in NAC-treated patients and 6 in untreated patients. We can conclude that NAC actually represents a simple effective treatment for endometriosis, without side effects, and a suitable approach for women desiring a pregnancy.