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

Amjad Hossain, Collin Osuamkpe, Shaikat Hossain, John Y. Phelps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: 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). Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusion: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-86
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010



  • HOS-Test
  • Spontaneously developed tail swellings
  • Vital stain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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