Sweat Chloride Test

Your doctor may order this test for you in order to learn if you have Cystic Fibrosis. People with Cystic Fibrosis lose an abnormal amount of salt in their sweat. This test measures the amount of chloride in your sweat, as people with Cystic Fibrosis have higher levels in their sweat than others.

What the test involves

The test is administered in the hospital lab and usually takes about 1 ½ hours. You should not use any lotions, perfumes, or powders the day of the test. As this test is scheduled, it is very important that you are on time for the testing. If you cannot keep your appointment, please call the lab as it will have to be rescheduled.

The test is not painful. If the patient has sensitive skin, there may be some mild irritation. This test involves having a chemical that causes sweating applied to the arm or leg. Then 2 electrodes are attached to the site for about 5 minutes in order to cause sweating. After the skin has been stimulated, the electrodes will be taken off, and a piece of guaze will be applied to the site and then wrapped with plastic wrap. The patient will sweat on this gauze for 1 hour. The sweat is then collected from the site and sent to the lab for testing.

After the Test

Your doctor will provide you with the results, and appropriate treatment will be carried out.