OverviewA buccal smear is a test where cells are taken from the tongue. Cells are collected by scraping the tongue with a spatula. The cells are then placed on a slide and the sample is taken to the laboratory for evaluation. The cells are evaluated for the presence of Barr bodies (a mass seen in a normal female sex chromosome). The buccal smear test can confirm whether the patient is a male or female.
Update Date 12/15/2010
Updated by: Frank A. Greco, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Biophysical Laboratory, The Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.