Adenomyosis is associated with specific proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) serum metabolic profiles

Adenomyosis serum samples have distinct and adenomyosis phenotype-specific proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR)-based serum metabolic profiles. Metabolites with altered levels are involved in immunity, cell proliferation, and cell migration.

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VOLUME 116, ISSUE 1, P243-254


Mathilde Bourdon, M.D., Pietro Santulli, M.D., Ph.D., Fatiha Kateb, Ph.D., Khaled Pocate-Cheriet, M.D., Frederic Batteux, M.D., Ph.D., Chloé Maignien, M.D., Sandrine Chouzenoux, Corinne Bordonne, M.D., Louis Marcellin, M.D., Ph.D., Gildas Bertho, Ph.D., Charles Chapron, M.D.



To determine whether the adenomyosis phenotype affects the proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR)-based serum metabolic profile of patients.


Cohort study.


University hospital-based research center.


Seventy-seven patients who underwent laparoscopy for a benign gynecologic condition.


Pelvic magnetic resonance imaging and collection of a venous peripheral blood sample were performed during the preoperative workup. The women were allocated to the adenomyosis group (n = 32), or the control group (n = 45). The adenomyosis group was further subdivided into two groups: diffuse adenomyosis of the inner myometrium (n = 14) and focal adenomyosis of the outer myometrium (n = 18). Other adenomyosis phenotypes were excluded.

Main Outcome Measures

Metabolomic profiling based on 1H-NMR spectroscopy in combination with statistical approaches.


The serum metabolic profiles of the patients with adenomyosis indicated lower concentrations of 3-hydroxybutyrate, glutamate, and serine compared with controls. Conversely, the concentrations of proline, choline, citrate, 2-hydroxybutyrate, and creatinine were higher in the adenomyosis group. The focal adenomyosis of the outer myometrium and the diffuse adenomyosis phenotypes also each exhibited a specific metabolic profile.


Serum metabolic changes were detected in women with features of adenomyosis compared with their disease-free counterparts, and a number of specific metabolic pathways appear to be engaged according to the adenomyosis phenotype. The metabolites with altered levels are particularly involved in immune activation as well as cell proliferation and cell migration. Nevertheless, this study did find evidence of a correlation between metabolite levels and symptoms thought to be related to adenomyosis. Further studies are required to determine the clinical significance of these differences in metabolic profiles.

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.