March 26, 2010

Cystic Fibrosis Sweat Tests

Sweat tests are considered the gold standard for determining whether someone has Cystic Fibrosis (CF) or not. If these tests are performed by certified professionals, the stress test is still the most reliable way to diagnose CF. The CF Foundation-Accredited Care Centers are probably the best  places to look. The test is performed on any age group, but may need to be repeated in an infant does not produce enough sweat to generate testable sample.

The results of the test are measure by the amount of chloride in the sweat. First, a colorless odorless chemical that induces seat is put onto an area on either on an arm or leg.  Next, an electrode is placed over said area. A small electrical current is then passed into the electrode to commence sweating. This is the first part of the test. I generally lasts about 5 minutes.

In the next portion of the test, the area is cleaned and the sweat is collected. Generally this process is done through the use of a gauze, plastic coil or filter paper. The sample is sent off to the lab and the chloride level is measured.
Be sure to ask how long the test is going to take and when you will receive result.