Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Endometriosis is associated with an inflammatory response. Hence infliximab, an anti-TNF-alpha monoclonal antibody, might relieve pain. METHODS: A randomized placebo-controlled trial was designed with 21 women with severe pain and a rectovaginal nodule of at least 1 cm. After 1 month of observation, three infusions of infliximab (5 mg/kg) or placebo were given. Surgery was performed 3 months later and follow-up continued for 6 months. The primary end-point was pain (dysmenorrhea, deep dyspareunia and non-menstrual pain) rated at each visit by the clinician and on a daily basis by the patient who in addition scored pain by visual analog pain scale and analgesia intake. Secondary end-points included the volume of the endometriotic nodule, pelvic tenderness and the visual appearance of endometriotic lesions at laparoscopy. RESULTS: Pain severity decreased during the treatment by 30% in both the placebo (P < 0.001) and infliximab groups (P < 0.001). However, no effect of infliximab was observed for any of the outcome measures. After surgery, pain scores decreased in both groups to less than 20% of the initial value. CONCLUSIONS: Infliximab appears not to affect pain associated with deep endometriosis. Treatment is associated with an important placebo effect. After surgery, pain decreases to less than 20%. Trials registration number NCT00604864.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum Reprod

Publication Date





2017 - 2023


Adolescent, Adult, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Double-Blind Method, Endometriosis, Female, Humans, Ibuprofen, Infliximab, Middle Aged, Pain, Pain Measurement, Pilot Projects, Treatment Outcome, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha