Transparent Adhesive (Cellophane) Tape Test for Pinworms
A transparent adhesive (cellophane) tape test (sometimes
called a "Scotch tape" test) refers to the collection and examination of a
sample from the skin around the
anus. This test is used to identify
pinworms and pinworm eggs.
should be done first thing in the morning before the person suspected of the
infection has gotten out of bed, used the bathroom, or taken a bath. To carry
out the test:
The parent applies the sticky side of a piece
of transparent tape (such as Scotch tape) briefly to the skin around the
child's anus. Any pinworms and/or eggs that are on the skin will stick to the
The doctor presses the sticky side of the tape to a
microscope slide and uses a microscope to look for pinworms and/or pinworm
This is the best test for diagnosing pinworms. Pinworm eggs
(when present) can be easily identified under the microscope by a trained
professional. More than one transparent tape test may be needed to detect
pinworm infection. Doing this test for 3 days in a row will successfully
diagnose pinworms 90% of the time.1
transparent tape test is a quick, cost-effective, and painless test. Samples
may be collected at home early in the morning before bathing and taken to your
doctor's office. Samples can also be taken at the doctor's office.
Dent AE, Kazura JW (2007). Enterobiasis (Enterobius vermicularis). In RM Kliegman et al., eds.,
Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 18th ed., pp. 1500-1501.
Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
September 2, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
September 02, 2010
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