Reference Index - Medical Tests

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Throat anatomy
Throat anatomy


Buccal  smear
Buccal smear


Buccal smear

Definition:

A buccal smear (pronounced "buckle") is the painless removal of a sample of cells from the lining of the mouth (inside of the cheek) for study.



Alternative Names:

Sex chromatin test



How the test is performed:

The health care provider will gently scrape the inside of the cheek with a small spatula to collect cells for testing.



How to prepare for the test:

Rinse and wash the mouth as instructed.



How the test will feel:

You will feel a scraping sensation as cells are removed from the cheek.



Why the test is performed:

The procedure is used to obtain cells for chromosome and DNA analysis,most often for genetic testing. The International Olympic Committee adopted the test many years ago to help detect male imposters among female athletes. When the test is used in this way, it's called the sex chromatin test. This method may also help establish the sexual identity of newborns.



Normal Values:



What abnormal results mean:



What the risks are:

There are no risks.



Special considerations:




Review Date: 11/4/2008
Reviewed By: Frank A. Greco, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Biophysical Laboratory, The Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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