What is the quantitative sudomotor axon reflex test (QSART)?

The QSART is a test that measures the autonomic nerves that control sweating. The test is useful in assessing autonomic nervous system disorders, peripheral neuropathies, and some types of pain disorders. The test requires a mild electrical stimulation on the skin called iontophoresis, which allows acetylcholine, a naturally occurring chemical, to stimulate sweat glands. The QSART measures the volume of sweat produced by this stimulation.

What happens on the day of the test?

  • Please wear loose clothing. You will be asked to remove your shoes and socks.
  • Compression stockings must be removed prior to testing.
  • The technician will discuss the steps of the test and answer any questions you may have.
  • The technician will wipe the skin on your foot, leg, and wrist with acetone.
  • Four electrodes filled with acetylcholine are then placed on three areas of the leg and one on the wrist.
  • The iontophoretic stimulators are turned on, and sweat responses are measured.
  • The test takes approximately 45 minutes to one hour.
  • A mild burning discomfort may be experienced at the site of stimulation during the test.

What should I know about eating and drinking?

You can eat a light breakfast. Do not eat or drink anything with caffeine, or smoke four hours prior to the test. Do not drink anything with alcohol for 12 to 14 hours prior to the test.

What should I know about taking medications?

There are some medications that can interfere with the test. Please call 216.444.5596 with your medication list. Do not take any over-the-counter cold or cough medications, aspirin, antihistamines, antidepressants, or diuretics 48 hours prior to the test.

What happens after the test?

The Neuromuscular Staff evaluates the data collected by the technician, and the final report is sent to the doctor who referred you for the test within three business days. Your doctor will provide you with the results.

How do I schedule the test?

Call the Neurology appointment office at 216.636.5860 or toll-free at 866.588.2264.

Where do I go for the test at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus?

The Autonomic Lab is located at Desk S90 on the 9th floor of the S Building, which is at the corner of East 93rd Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio.


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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 11/30/2016…#16398