Hypoosmotic swelling test in the prediction of male fertility
The hypoosmotic swelling test (HOS) is a simple test to measure the functional competence of human sperm membranes. The question is, does a relationship exist between this competence and the fertilization potential of human spermatozoa? In this study the strongest correlation (r = 0.76) was obtained between sperm swelling and sperm viability (supravital staining). Only a moderate correlation (r = 0.50) was obtained with normal sperm morphology; weaker correlations were also obtained with the sperm penetration assay (r = 0.42) and human IVF (r = 0.24). The results, therefore, indicate that the HOS test has a limited predictive value. Notwithstanding this low concordance between sperm swelling and fertilizing potential, a <50% HOS test threshold was seen to be a definite indicator of a male factor.