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Obstetrics and Gynecology International
Volume 2013, Article ID 859619, 8 pages
Review Article

Angiogenesis and Endometriosis

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Human Reproduction, Federal University of Minas Gerais, 310130-100 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1066, USA

Received 15 February 2013; Accepted 24 April 2013

Academic Editor: Pasquapina Ciarmela

Copyright © 2013 Ana Luiza L. Rocha 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.


A comprehensive review was performed to survey the role of angiogenesis in the pathogenesis of endometriosis. This is a multifactorial disease in which the development and maintenance of endometriotic implants depend on their invasive capacity and angiogenic potential. The peritoneal fluid of patients with endometriosis is a complex suspension carrying inflammatory cytokines, growth factors, steroid hormones, proangiogenic factors, macrophages, and endometrial and red blood cells. These cells and their signaling products concur to promote the spreading of new blood vessels at the endometriotic lesions and surroundings, which contributes to the endometriotic implant survival. Experimental studies of several antiangiogenic agents demonstrated the regression of endometriotic lesions by reducing their blood supply. Further studies are necessary before these novel agents can be introduced into clinical practice, in particular the establishment of the safety of anti-angiogenic medications in women who are seeking to become pregnant.