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Sweat Chloride Test

(757) 668-7000

Your child has been scheduled for a Sweat Chloride test to be performed by the clinical laboratory staff at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters. This test will take about 60 minutes.

What is a sweat chloride test?

Sweat chloride test is a test that will help your child’s doctor know the chloride (salt) level for your child's sweat. It is most often done to evaluate if a child has cystic fibrosis.

Before the test:

You should report to the Admitting/ X-ray Department 15 minutes before your child’s scheduled appointment time to register. After registering, report to the 4th Floor Laboratory. It is located across the hall from the NICU waiting area. 

How the test is done and special preparations:

  • Please do not apply lotion to the skin for 24 hours prior to the test.
  • Your child needs to be well hydrated for this test to be successful. Please make sure he drinks plenty of fluids the day before the test.
  • Our staff will clean your child's skin surface before the stimulation. This thorough cleansing is necessary to ensure accurate results of the test.
  • The test will consist of a mild electrical stimulation of the skin surface for 5 minutes at two separate sites (either forearms or thighs). A collection device will then be placed on both sites for 30 minutes to collect the sweat.
  • Some children vary in their sensitivity to the electrical current. Most children do not feel anything more than a slight prickling sensation during the stimulation, similar to a minor sunburn. It is not unusual for an infant to sleep through the entire procedure.
  • It is very important that an adequate amount of sweat is collected for testing.

After the test:

The sweat sample will be analyzed the same day of the test and the results will be sent or reported to your child’s doctor. Please talk with your child’s doctor about any questions you may have about the test or the results.

We look forward to seeing you on _______________________ at _____________a.m. If you have questions about these guidelines, you may contact the CHKD Clinical Laboratory at (757) 668-7300.


Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 09/2012

(757) 668-7000