Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

n order to rule out other conditions, your doctor may start by conducting:

  • A physical exam
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests

If blood or urine tests detect an abnormal protein — which could indicate amyloidosis — your doctor may order a tissue biopsy to make a definitive diagnosis.

Biopsy may involve several samples

In a tissue biopsy, your doctor uses a needle to remove a small sample of tissue. If your doctor suspects that you have systemic amyloidosis — meaning it affects several parts of your body rather than just one organ — the biopsy may be taken from your abdominal fat, bone marrow, gums, salivary glands, skin or rectum. The sample is then examined under a microscope in a laboratory to check for signs of amyloid. These biopsies are conducted in an outpatient setting with a numbing medication (local anesthetic).

Occasionally, tissue samples may be taken from other parts of your body, such as your heart, liver or kidney, to help diagnose the specific organ affected by amyloidosis. These procedures may require hospitalization.

Aug. 06, 2011