The measurement of acid phosphatase in semen is used in the investigation of male infertility and in the evaluation of prostate function.
Acid Phosphatase (ACP) is an enzyme (hydrolase) that catalyzes the hydrolysis of various phosphate esters with optimal pH activity in the acidic region. It can be found in high concentrations in the prostate, bones, blood cells, spleen, and other organs. Several molecular variants of the enzyme are known (isoenzymes) while the one with the highest diagnostic value is the prostate isoenzyme. Semen plasma is one of the richest sources of acid phosphatase and is an important measurement to assess prostate function.
Detection of acid phosphatase in semen is important not only in assessing gland function but is also used in forensic matters when it is necessary to prove the presence of semen.