test measures the amount of salt chemicals (sodium and chloride) in sweat. It
is done to help diagnose
cystic fibrosis. Normally, sweat on the skin surface
contains very little sodium and chloride. People with cystic fibrosis have 2 to
5 times the normal amount of sodium and chloride in their sweat.
During the sweat test, medicine that causes a person to sweat is applied
to the skin (usually on the arm or thigh). The sweat is then collected on a
paper or a gauze pad, and the amount of salt chemicals in the paper or gauze is
measured in a lab. Generally, chloride (sweat chloride) is measured. See a
picture of a
sweat test .
A sweat test is done on any person suspected of having
cystic fibrosis. An initial test may be done as early as 48 hours of age. But a
sweat test done during the first month of life may need to be repeated. Younger
babies may not produce enough sweat to give reliable test results. Also,
younger babies may naturally have lower sweat chloride levels than older babies
and children with cystic fibrosis.
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Susanna McColley, MD - Pediatric Pulmonology
June 15, 2011
©1995-2012, Healthwise, Incorporated, P.O. Box 1989, Boise, ID 83701.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
For more information,
How this information was developed.