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Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis Diagnostics

Laboratory tests

  • Newborn screening test. Within the past decade, most states have begun to routinely screen newborns for cystic fibrosis. This test checks a blood sample for a particular component that is commonly elevated in babies who have cystic fibrosis. Other tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Sweat test. This test is necessary to confirm a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. A sweat-producing chemical is applied to a small area of skin, which is then stimulated with a very weak and painless electric current. The collected sweat is then tested to see if it's saltier than most people's sweat.
  • Genetic testing. If the sweat test results aren't clear-cut, DNA samples from blood or saliva can be checked for specific mutations on the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis.
  • Sputum tests. If it appears that you have a lung infection, your doctor may ask you to cough up a sample of the mucus (sputum) so it can be tested to see what types of germs are in it. Your doctor can then choose an antibiotic that works especially well for that specific variety of germ.
  • Organ function tests. During the course of cystic fibrosis treatment, your doctor may order blood tests that help measure the health of your pancreas and liver.

Imaging tests

Damage to your lungs or intestines can be monitored with:

  • X-rays. This painless test can reveal overinflation of the lungs and clogged bronchial tubes or sinuses.
  • Computerized tomography (CT). CT scans combine X-ray views taken from many different directions to produce more detailed images of internal structures.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI machines use radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce very detailed images of internal organs.

Lung function tests

These tests measure:

  • The size of your lungs
  • How much air you can breathe in and out
  • How fast you can breathe in and out
  • How well your lungs deliver oxygen to your blood

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Trillium Health Center Medical Building

We are conveniently located at:
190 Sherway Dr. Unit 408,
Etobicoke, ON
(Queensway Professional Centre)

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