Evaluation of male fertility potential by Toluidine Blue test for sperm chromatin structure assessment

I. Tsarev, M. Bungum, A. Giwercman, J. Erenpreisa, T. Ebessen, E. Ernst, J. Erenpreiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: We have previously suggested that the Toluidine Blue (TB) test can be used for sperm chromatin structure assessment. In this study, we wished to evaluate the clinical applicability of the TB test in assessing male fertility potential using well-defined groups of fertile and infertile men.METHODSSixty-three fertile and 79 infertile men were tested. Infertility thresholds for the proportion of sperm with abnormal [TB dark cells (TBDCs)] and normal [TB light cells (TBLCs)] chromatin structure were set by the ROC curve analysis.RESULTSThresholds of 45 TBDC and 20 TBLC were highly predictive for infertility (specificity of the test: 92 and 90, respectively), but they were poor predictors of the fertility (sensitivity of the test: 42 and 32, respectively). Odds ratio for infertility was 7.5 [95 confidence interval (CI): 2.7-20.8] when the 45 TBDC threshold was used and 4.4 (95 CI: 1.7-11.6) when the 20 TBLC threshold was used.CONCLUSIONSThe TB test can be suggested for clinical use as a complementary test for standard semen analysis to diagnose male infertility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1569-1574
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


  • Diagnostic test
  • Male infertility
  • Sperm chromatin
  • Toluidine Blue

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of male fertility potential by Toluidine Blue test for sperm chromatin structure assessment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this