The Acridine Orange test: Determining the relationship between sperm morphology and fertilization in vitro

Claassens O.E. ; Menkveld S. ; Franken D.R. ; Pretorius E. ; Swart Y. ; Lombard C.J. ; Kruger T.F. (1992)


The prediction of human fertilization is an important aspect of research protocols dealing with male fertility. Sperm DNA has been reported to be an indicator of human sperm fertility potential. The Acridine Orange test for evaluation of sperm DNA has been employed during the present study to determine its relationship with human sperm morphology and fertilization in vitro. Seventy-six patients from the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and/or gamete intra-Fallopian transfer (GIFT) programme were randomly selected for the study. All patients had a routine semen analysis, sperm DNA evaluation and underwent standard IVF procedures at the time of the study. The results indicated a moderate positive correlation (r=0.38, P=0.0006) between results of the Acridine Orange test and normal sperm morphology. Patients with an Acridine Orange test value exceeding 24% had significantly higher oocyte fertilization rates than patients with lower values, for metaphase I (74 versus 51%, P=0.0008) and for metaphase II oocytes (88 versus 60%, P=0.0001). Sperm morphology, however, proved to be a more significant predictor of fertilization in vitro compared to the Acridine Orange test.

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