To explore the role of nitric oxide (NO) and oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of adhesion formation and in endometriosis-associated infertility, we examined the peritoneal total antioxidant status (TAS) and the concentrations of products of NO metabolism in women with endometriosis (early stage, n = 12; advanced stage, n = 12) and in fertile women without endometriosis (n = 10). Peritoneal CA 125 and oestrogen and progesterone concentrations were also measured to examine their contributions to TAS and the production of NO. We failed to demonstrate any significant difference in TAS and in the products of NO metabolism in peritoneal fluids among women with early and advanced stages of endometriosis compared with fertile women without endometriosis during the early follicular phase. TAS and the concentration of the products of NO metabolism were not related to concentrations of CA 125, oestrogen or progesterone. The concentration of CA 125 in serum, but not in peritoneal fluid, was positively correlated with the severity of endometriosis. The volume of peritoneal fluid and the progesterone concentration were significantly increased in the group with advanced endometriosis. TAS and the concentration of the products of NO metabolism did not increase in peritoneal fluids from women with endometriosis during the early follicular phase. Their role in the pathophysiology of endometriosis needs to be explored further.
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