Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

In addition to a medical history review and physical examination, your doctor may suggest some of the following tests:

  • Enzyme tests. Damaged muscles release enzymes, such as creatine kinase (CK), into your blood. In the absence of traumatic injuries, high blood levels of CK suggest a muscle disease — such as muscular dystrophy.
  • Electromyography. This test involves inserting an electrode needle through your skin and into the muscle to be tested. Electrical activity is measured as you relax and as you gently tighten the muscle. Changes in the pattern of electrical activity can confirm a muscle disease.
  • Muscle biopsy. A small piece of muscle can be removed through a small incision or with a hollow needle. The analysis of the sample can distinguish muscular dystrophies from other muscle diseases.
  • Genetic testing. Blood samples can be examined for mutations in some of the genes that cause different types of muscular dystrophy.
Jan. 18, 2012

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