Plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factor in women with pelvic pain: A potential biomarker for endometriosis?

Ana L. Rocha, Erica L. Vieira, Márcia C. Ferreira, Laura M. Maia, Antonio L. Teixeira, Fernando M. Reis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Aim: To test whether plasma BDNF levels are useful to predict the presence of endometriosis in women with pelvic pain. Patients & methods: Prospective cross-sectional study including 67 consecutive women aged 24-49 years, scheduled for laparoscopy due to chronic pelvic pain. Preoperative plasma samples were assayed for BDNF using a commercial enzyme immunoassay. Results: Women with ovarian endometrioma had higher preoperative plasma BDNF (1063 ± 157 pg/ml) compared with women with other benign ovarian tumors (537 ± 131 pg/ml, F = 2.53; p = 0.02). However, plasma BDNF levels were not helpful to indicate the presence of peritoneal or deep infiltrating endometriosis. Plasma BDNF levels were positively correlated with the severity of pelvic pain (r = 0.489; p < 0.0001). Conclusion: Plasma BDNF might be a biomarker of ovarian endometrioma but not a useful diagnostic marker to detect other forms of endometriosis in women with painful symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-317
Number of pages5
JournalBiomarkers in Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • BDNF
  • Benign ovarian tumor
  • Biomarker
  • Endometrioma
  • Endometriosis
  • Inflammation
  • Laparoscopy
  • Nerve fiber
  • Pelvic pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


Dive into the research topics of 'Plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factor in women with pelvic pain: A potential biomarker for endometriosis?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this