Spontaneously developed tail swellings (SDTS) influence the accuracy of the hypo-osmotic swelling test (HOS-test) in determining membrane integrity and viability of human spermatozoa
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To investigate the prevalence of spontaneously developed tail swellings (SDTS) in human sperm samples that are commonly encountered in the laboratory, and their influence on the hypo-osmotic swelling test (HOS-test).
Ejaculated, epididymal, and testicular sperm were evaluated for SDTS. Further, HOS-test scores were compared with those of vital stains using column washed sperm maintained in the laboratory.
SDTS, at <10%, was present in all types of sperm samples. The highest and lowest occurrences of SDTS were found in cryopreserved sperm, and column-washed sperm respectively. SDTS can inflate the HOS-test score, and so lower the accuracy of the HOS-test. However, the HOS-test efficiency can be improved by assessing SDTS in the sample.
HOS-test and vital stain cannot be used interchangeably in all circumstances for sperm viability determination. The accuracy of the HOS-test can be enhanced by incorporating SDTS as a correction factor.
KeywordsHOS-Test Spontaneously developed tail swellings Vital stain
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