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.
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.
What the risks are
There are no risks.
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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