Definition of Guthrie test in English:

Guthrie test


  • A routine blood test carried out on babies a few days after birth to detect the condition phenylketonuria.

    • ‘Last year, the number of Guthrie tests, a routine exam for newborn babies to check for congenital diseases, carried out in Portugal totalled 105,138, representing a decrease of 3,580 against the 2005 figure.’
    • ‘I'm really pleased that I've had a query from a member of the coffee group about Guthrie tests (also known as PKU tests).’
    • ‘The Guthrie test (bacterial inhibition assay) is one of the tests used to determine the phenylalanine level in the blood.’
    • ‘The heel prick test (Guthrie test) is done on all newborn babies shortly after birth to identify PKU at an early age.’
    • ‘Babies are given a blood test (heel prick test or Guthrie test) when they are born, to look for some serious conditions such as sickle cell disease, under-active thyroid, phenylketonuria, and cystic fibrosis.’


Named after Robert Guthrie (1916–95), American microbiologist.