Sperm penetration assay in predicting successful in vitro fertilization: A meta-analysis

Ben W.J. Mol*, Saskia Meijer, Simone Yuppa, Erwin Tan, Jan De Vries, Patrick M.M. Bossuyt, Fulco Van Der Veen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To determine if the performance of the sperm penetration assay (SPA) is useful in predicting successful in vitro fertilization (IVF). METHODS: A meta-analysis was set up to determine the performance of SPA in the prediction of IVF success. We collected data on 647 patients in 24 studies. For each study, a two-by-two table was constructed from the results of SPA and IVF. RESULTS: The sensitivity and specificity of SPA as compared to IVF were heterogeneous. A summary receiver operating characteristics curve could be estimated, showing that the sensitivity of SPA was only 37%, with a specificity of 95%. Subgroup analysis did not explain the lack of homogeneity. CONCLUSION: Since withholding IVF inappropriately has major consequences, performing SPA is insufficient for selecting patients for treatment with IVF embryo transfer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-508
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Reproductive Medicine for the Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1998


  • Fertilization, in vitro
  • Infertility, female
  • Meta-analysis
  • Sperm penetration


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