Ronald E. Batt, MD, PhD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, as well as social and preventive medicine has been selected as one of this year’s recipients of the prestigious Harry Reich Award, recognizing his transformational contributions to the research and treatment of endometriosis.
The Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) established the award in honor of Dr. Harry Reich, known for his pioneering work in laparoscopic surgery. He performed the first laparoscopic hysterectomy, pelvic lymphadenectomy, and excision of cul-de-sac endometriosis with rectal resection.
During the EFA’s 6th annual medical conference, Dr. Batt was invited to give a keynote lecture, titled, “The Theory of Müllerianosis: An Odyssey of Discovery and Verification,” which the foundation described as one of the event’s highlights, as it offered “insightful evidence of the progress gained through a lifetime of work as well as hope for the future of endometriosis care.” Through the lecture, Dr. Batt shared his 30-year-old discovery of a congenital müllerian anomaly that led to the theory of müllerianosis.
According to Dr. Batt, müllerianosis is an organ-like structure made up of normal cervical epithelium, normal uterine epithelium, normal tubal epithelium — singly or in combination — that abnormally develops within another normal organ during fetal development in utero.
“The theory of müllerianosis predicts that in some fetuses, müllerian tissue — the same tissue that normally forms the fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix and upper vagina — is misplaced within other organs during organogenesis,” Dr. Batt explained. “This evidence explains the origin of these rare developmental embryonic diseases not explained by classical theories. Most importantly, direct evidence supports the existence of embryonic adenomyosis and embryonic endocervicosis.”
Dr. Batt’s latest work focuses on the four müllerian diseases’ pathogenesis and pathophysiology, namely, adenomyosis, endometriosis, endosalpingiosis, and endocervicosis. His further specialization in endometriosis-associated infertility and conservative surgery, microsurgery and laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis in infertile couples is also recognized by the Harry Reich award.
In a previous report on endometriosis, data from a pooled analysis published in the journal The Lancet Oncology has linked endometriosis with an increased risk of a diagnosis with low-grade serious, endometrioid or clear-cell ovarian cancers.