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How to perform and interpret the sweat test

Abstract

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common life-threatening autosomal-recessive disease affecting Caucasians in the western world. The sweat test is the main diagnostic test for CF. It is indicated as part of the clinical assessment for infants that have picked up on the national neonatal screening programme. It may also be requested where clinical suspicion of a diagnosis of CF exists despite normal screening results. This article outlines the physiological basis behind sweat testing and the technical aspects of performing the test. Indications for performing the test are also considered. The article aims to provide clinicians with a guide to interpretation of results.

  • cystic fibrosis
  • paediatric practice
  • sweat test
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