Cytoplasmic droplets: the good, the bad or just confusing?

Hum Reprod. 2005 Jan;20(1):9-11. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deh555. Epub 2004 Oct 7.


The term cytoplasmic droplets is used to mean two different structures by basic scientists and clinicians. The literature on the presence, position and loss of cytoplasmic droplets and their relationship to infertility in animal species is reviewed. It is proposed that a change in terminology is required: 'cytoplasmic droplet' should be used to describe normal droplets associated with functional sperm produced by normal spermatogenesis and 'excess residual cytoplasm' is suggested to describe abnormal droplets associated with dysfunctional sperm that are products of faulty spermatogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic
  • Cytoplasm / physiology
  • Cytoplasm / ultrastructure*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / pathology
  • Infertility, Male / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Spermatozoa / physiology
  • Spermatozoa / ultrastructure*
  • Terminology as Topic