A buccal (pronounced "buckle") smear is the painless removal of a sample of cells from the inside of your mouth (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. Sometimes, you can do this yourself.
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
This test is done to get cells for chromosome or 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 test may also help establish the sexual identity of newborns.
What the risks are
There are no risks.
Chad Haldeman-Englert, MD, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Section on Medical Genetics, Winston-Salem, NC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, and Stephanie Slon.