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The blood uric acid test measures the amount
uric acid in a blood sample. Uric acid is produced
from the natural breakdown of your body's cells and from the foods you
Most of the uric acid is filtered out by the kidneys and
passes out of the body in urine. A small amount passes out of the body in
stool. But if too much uric acid is being produced or if the kidneys are not
able to remove it from the blood normally, the level of uric acid in the blood
High levels of uric acid in the blood can cause solid
crystals to form within joints. This causes a painful condition called
gout. If gout remains untreated, these uric acid
crystals can build up in the joints and nearby tissues, forming hard lumpy
tophi. High levels of uric acid may also cause
kidney stones or
A uric acid blood test is done
You do not need to do anything before
you have this test.
Some medicines can change the results of this
test. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the nonprescription and
prescription medicines you take.
Talk to your doctor about any
concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be
done, or what the results may mean. To help you understand the importance
of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
The health professional who takes a
sample of your blood will:
The blood sample is taken from a vein in
your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight.
You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or
There is very little chance of a problem from
having a blood sample taken from a vein.
The blood uric acid test measures the
amount of uric acid in a blood sample.
The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.
Results are usually ready in 1 to 2 days.
milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
micromoles per liter (mcmol/L)
Uric acid crystals sometimes form in
joints even at levels less than 7 mg/dL, especially in men. This can lead to a
gout attack, even though the uric acid levels are
within the normal range.
Many conditions can change uric acid
levels. Your doctor will talk with you about any abnormal results that may be
related to your symptoms and past health.
High uric acid values may be caused
Low uric acid values may be caused
CitationsFischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.Other Works ConsultedChernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby.
June 12, 2012
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
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