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Diagnosis

Because many people with Paget's disease do not have symptoms, the condition often is not discovered until an X-ray or blood test (called the alkaline phosphatase) obtained for other reasons suggests the disease may be present. If your doctor thinks you may have Paget's disease, specific blood and urine tests can measure the levels of certain byproducts of bone formation and breakdown. More detailed X-rays or a bone scan also may be done. In rare instances, a doctor may recommend a bone biopsy to confirm the diagnosis and exclude other possibilities. In a bone biopsy, a small piece of bone is removed with a needle so it can be examined in a laboratory.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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