Diagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis Pilocarpine Iontophoresis

Iontophoresis of pilocarpine (28) to induce sweating to measure sweat sodium and chloride concentration is the basis of the ''sweat test'' that is used to diagnose cystic fibrosis (29-31). High concentrations of both sodium and chloride ions in the sweat are considered as unequivocal evidence of the disease. Although essential criteria have been established for a positive test result in both children (30) and adults (31), pilocarpine iontophoresis should be used in conjunction with other clinical features to make a definitive diagnosis. This procedure is particularly useful in children younger than 1 year old because it is essentially painless and takes only 3-5 minutes to complete.

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