April 12, 1965

New Test Devised for Cystic Fibrosis

JAMA. 1965;192(2):26-27. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080150120055

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Investigators at Children's Hospital Medical Center, Boston, have devised a new test for cystic fibrosis, based upon an analysis of the sodium and potassium concentration in finger and toe nails.

"Some might question the need for a new test for cystic fibrosis since the standard sweat test is one of the most reliable in medicine," Harry Shwachman, MD, told The Journal. "There is, however, need for a rapid screening procedure which can be applied to the newborn and for a test to detect the heterozygote or carrier of the CF gene.

A second test would also be helpful in confirming a diagnosis in patients with an equivocal sweat test.

The test devised by Shwachman and Louis Kopito, MS, a physicist at Children's Hospital, cannot in its present form be used for mass screening. "It is too difficult a procedure at present for use as a screening method," Shwachman said. "It

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview