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How is muscular dystrophy diagnosed?

The first step in diagnosing muscular dystrophy is a physical exam that includes a review of you and your family's medical histories. Then a doctor may perform one of several tests. Blood tests can test for levels of certain enzymes that indicate muscular dystrophy and can also be used for genetic testing. Muscle biopsy, which involves removing a small sample of muscle tissue to be analyzed under a microscope, can test for certain indicators of muscular dystrophies. Ultrasound can be used to produce images of your muscles for doctors to look for any abnormalities. Electromyography, which involves inserting a very thin electrode into your muscle, can test electrical activity in your muscles. Your doctor may choose to do one or a combination of these tests, depending on the type of muscular dystrophy suspected.

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