Amyloidosis is often overlooked because the signs and symptoms can mimic those of more-common diseases. Diagnosis as early as possible can help prevent further organ damage. Precise diagnosis is important because treatment varies greatly, depending on your specific condition.
Your doctor is likely to start with a thorough medical history and physical exam. After that, you may have:
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- Laboratory tests. Your blood and urine may be analyzed for abnormal protein that can indicate amyloidosis. Depending on your signs and symptoms, you may also have thyroid and liver function tests.
- Biopsy. A tissue sample may be taken and checked for signs of amyloidosis. The biopsy may be taken from your abdominal fat, bone marrow, or an organ such as your liver or kidney. Tissue analysis can help determine the type of amyloid deposit.
- Imaging tests. Images of the organs affected by amyloidosis can help establish the extent of your disease. Echocardiogram may be used to assess the size and functioning of your heart. Other imaging tests can evaluate the extent of amyloidosis in your liver or spleen.
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- Vrana JA, et al. Clinical diagnosis and typing of systemic amyloidosis in subcutaneous fat aspirates by mass spectrometry-based proteomics. Haematologica. In press. Accessed May 5, 2014.
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- Gorevic PD. Genetic factors in the amyloid diseases. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 11, 2014.
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