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 1/4/2013
Updated by: 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.