A complete medical history and physical examination is essential for diagnosing amyloidosis. Blood, urine and bone marrow tests also must be performed. Blood or urine tests can detect the amyloid proteins, but only bone marrow tests or other small samples of tissue — called biopsies — can positively establish the diagnosis of amyloidosis.
A small tissue sample, or biopsy, will often be taken from the abdominal fat, rectum, and/or bone marrow to confirm the diagnosis of amyloidosis. These biopsies are relatively minor procedures done in an outpatient clinic with a local anesthetic (numbing medication). Occasionally, samples need to be taken from damaged organs such as the liver, intestines, heart or kidney. The type of biopsy procedure required will vary from patient to patient.
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.