Sweat test

Illustration of sweat test procedure

A sweat test is used to diagnose cystic fibrosis. During the test, medicine that causes sweating is applied with a gauze pad to either the arm or the thigh. A mild electrical current pushes the medicine into the skin to cause the child to sweat. The sweat is collected, and then the salt content of the sweat (sodium and/or chloride) is measured.

Last Updated: June 23, 2009

Author: Debby Golonka, MPH

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Susanna McColley, MD - Pediatric Pulmonology

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