BACKGROUND: According to European and US protocols, two nasal potential difference (NPD) measurement methods are considered acceptable, although they have not been formally compared: subcutaneous agar-filled needle with calomel (Ndl) and dermal abrasion with conducting cream and Ag/AgCl electrodes (Abr). We compared both in CF and healthy volunteers (HV), assessing their discriminative value and subject's preference.
METHODS: Twelve classic CF and 17 HV underwent both NPD methods, performed by one operator in random order. A written questionnaire, assessing preference, was completed after each test. Tracings were coded, scored in a semi-blinded fashion and categorised as CF/non-CF.
RESULTS: 110 tracings (56 Ndl/54 Abr) were collected: 42/110 scored CF and 68/110 non-CF, showing a good correlation. No significant preference for either method was reported.
CONCLUSION: Both NPD methods are similar in terms of discriminative value and subject's preference, comparing classical CF and HV. For diagnosing CF, the operator's preferred NPD-method may be used.
- CF diagnosis
- dermal abrasion method
- nasal potential difference measurements
- needle method