| gynecology

A Blood Test for Endometriosis

A Quicker Diagnosis = Better/Earlier Treatment

Endometriosis affects about 10% of women worldwide. It can cause chronic pelvic pain, scars, bleeding, discomfort during periods and sex, infertility, and be expensive. Diagnosis may prove difficult due to symptoms being similar to other gynecological or digestive disorders, and a confirmed diagnosis can only be obtained through surgery. It is therefore promising that a new blood test is being investigated through a clinical trial. Researchers at Penn State and other centers are recruiting 750 women, age 18 to 49, with suspected endometriosis for blood and saliva samples. The study, called EMPOWER, seeks to provide a diagnosis by testing for specific tiny strands of genetic material, micro-ribonucleic acid (mRNA) in a patient sample.

“A noninvasive test could help us get patients the treatment they need sooner so we can improve their quality of life,” said Dr. Timothy Deimling, associate professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “Delayed diagnosis can cause reproductive or other complications as a result of advanced disease progression.” Participants in the study will undergo 2 visits for the collection of blood and saliva samples, and will complete questionnaires.


Read more about the study.

Read the press release.

Holly Caster