Acid Phosphatase

Acid phosphatase detection in vaginal washings is helpful in cases of azoospermic ejaculations. Acid phosphatase is derived from cytoplasmic sources (erythrocytes, leukocytes, and thrombocytes) or tissue sources (bone, kidney, and liver). Various chemical means are used to differentiate the source of the acid phosphatase. However, a qualitative distinction between seminal and vaginal acid phosphatase cannot be made, because they are identical biochemically and immunologically. The only reliable distinction may be made quantitatively based on the high levels of acid phosphatase in seminal fluid. 11 The acid phosphatase determinations are most helpful when no sperm are found and acid phosphatase levels are markedly elevated, consistent with the presence of semen. -l1

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