Changes in levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in women with chronic endometritis and and the possibility of medically correcting these levels at the preconception stage




women, chronic endometritis, INF-γ, TNF-α, IL-10, preconception treatment


The incidence of chronic endometritis is more than twice higher the prevalence of other clinical forms of intrauterine pathology, leading to infertility, unsuccessful attempts of in vitro fertilization and spontaneous abortion. There is a lack of data on the alteration of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine production in chronic endometritis and their role in the subsequent development of miscarriage.

Purpose - to investigate the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interferon gamma (INF-γ), as well as the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 10 (IL-10) in cervical mucus of women with chronic endometritis and to assess the impact of the developed comprehensive preconception treatment on normalizing cytokine disorders in these women.

Materials and methods. The levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and INF-γ, as well as the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, were determined using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method in the cervical mucus of 426 women with chronic endometritis who were planning pregnancy. Among them, 168 patients (the Group I) received preconception comprehensive treatment, which included broad-spectrum antibacterial agents (azithromycin), hormonal estrogen-progestin therapy (Femoston 2/10) and L-arginine. The remaining 258 women (the Group II) did not receive treatment for chronic endometritis at the preconception stage. The control group consisted of 30 healthy individuals. Data analysis was performed using mathematical statistical methods, calculating the mean sample values (M), variance (σ) and standard errors of the mean (m). The Student’s t-test was applied, and probabilities were determined using the statistical program «STATISTICA» (StatSoft Inc., USA).

Results. In the cervical mucus of women with chronic endometritis, an increase in the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines INF-γ by 2.8 times (p<0.001) and TNF-α by 2 times (p<0.001) was detected, along with a 2-fold decrease in the concentration of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 (p<0.001). The shift in the cytokine balance towards pro-inflammatory cytokines is associated with a high frequency of miscarriage in these women. After the treatment of chronic endometritis, women had a 2.6 times lower level of INF-γ (p<0.05), a 2 times lower level of TNF-α (p<0.01), and a 1.7 times higher level of IL-10 (p<0.05) compared to untreated patients.

Conclusions. Women with chronic endometritis experience a cytokine imbalance, characterized by an excessive increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines and a decrease in anti-inflammatory cytokines. Women with chronic endometritis who are planning pregnancy require comprehensive preconception treatment, which includes the administration of azithromycin, femoston 2/10 and L-arginine in addition to traditional preconception folate prophylaxis. This treatment, by promoting improved conditions for implantation, leads to a 15% increase in the pregnancy rate and a 1.9-fold reduction in the frequency of spontaneous abortion.

The research was carried out in accordance with the principles of the Helsinki Declaration. The study protocol was approved by the Local Ethics Committee of the participating institution. The informed consent of the patient was obtained for conducting the studies.

No conflict of interests was declared by the authors.


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