Thoracic Endometriosis Syndrome is Strongly Associated With Severe Pelvic Endometriosis and Infertility

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Study Objective: To evaluate the clinical and surgical features of thoracic endometriosis syndrome (TES) represented by catamenial pneumothorax and pelvic endometriosis and to describe their association with infertility. Design: Retrospective clinical study (Canadian Task Force classification: II-2). Setting: Academic tertiary referral endometriosis center. Patients: Seven patients who had undergone surgery because of thoracic and pelvic endometriosis between 2004 and 2010. Interventions: Thoracic and pelvic exploration and treatment and fertility treatment. Measurements and Main Results: Concurrently, thoracic and pelvic endometriosis, and subsequent fertility were determined during long-term follow-up after combined surgical and pharmacologic interventions. The most frequent thoracic finding was diaphragmatic implants. Except for 1 patient with recurrent pleurodesis at 1 month after video-assisted thoracoscopy, no patients experienced recurrence of thoracic symptoms during a median (range) follow-up of 31.4 (1-61) months. Severe pelvic endometriosis was diagnosed in 6 patients with notable urologic and gastrointestinal tract involvement. Only 1 patient with catamenial pneumothorax had no macroscopic pelvic lesions. There was a considerable delay between the onset of pelvic symptoms and diagnosis. Median postoperative follow-up was 31.5 (7-84) months. Most patients who tried to conceive had primary infertility. Conclusion: Thoracic endometriosis syndrome, represented by catamenial pneumothorax, was strongly associated with severe pelvic endometriosis and a high rate of infertility. Inasmuch as many patients with thoracic endometriosis syndrome are treated by thoracic surgeons using video-assisted thoracoscopy, it is desirable to involve an experienced gynecologist who can diagnose and treat concurrent pelvic endometriosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-748
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Catamenial pneumothorax
  • Endometriosis
  • Infertility
  • Laparoscopy
  • Thoracic endometriosis syndrome
  • Video-assisted thoracoscopy


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