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Uric Acid Blood Test

Last updated July 15, 2019

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH

The Uric Acid Blood Test measures the levels of uric acid in circulation. It aids in the diagnosis of gout and stones. The test is also used to monitor chemotherapy.

What are the other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • Serum Urate Test
  • Serum Uric Acid Test
  • UA Blood Test 

What is Uric Acid Blood Test? (Background Information)

  • Uric acid is a breakdown product of an important class of nitrogen-containing compounds, called purines. Uric acid may accumulate in the joints and other tissues, causing inflammation
  • Purines make up 2 of the 4 building blocks of DNA and RNA. They also comprise other important molecules, such as ATP - the body’s energy currency, cAMP - an important signaling molecule, and coenzyme A, which is essential to many chemical reactions
  • Most purines in the body originate from cells that have died and released their DNA and RNA. A dietary intake of purine also contributes to the body’s purine supply, though to a lesser extent. Common sources of purines include organ meats, beans, and yeasts (such as those present in beer)
  • Increased levels of purines lead to increased uric acid levels, unless there is an abnormality associated with the body’s purine degradation system. Uric acid is excreted through urine and feces. However, it may accumulate in blood, due to overproduction or impaired excretion
  • Uric acid that has accumulated may deposit in the joints, causing inflammation. This is known as gout. Uric acid may also combine with other compounds, such as calcium, and form “stones” in the kidneys, ureters, or bladder
  • The Uric Acid Blood Test measures the levels of uric acid in circulation. It aids in the diagnosis of gout and stones. The test is also used to monitor chemotherapy

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Uric Acid Blood Test?

Following are the clinical indications for performing the Uric Acid Blood Test:

  • As a follow-up to radiological tests that show solid accumulations
  • Joint pain, discomfort, or swelling
  • Family history of gout
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased urge to urinate, with little or no urine produced
  • Painful urination
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Menstrual abnormalities 

How is the Specimen Collected for Uric Acid Blood Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Uric Acid Blood Test:

Sample required: Blood

Process: Insertion of a needle into an arm vein.

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test. 

What is the Significance of the Uric Acid Blood Test Result?

The significance of Uric Acid Blood Test is explained:

  • Increased uric acid levels may indicate:
    • Gout
    • Kidney, ureter, or bladder stones
    • Sudden tissue destruction as a result of starvation, or excessive exercise
    • Cancer
    • Chronic renal disease
    • Acidosis
    • Toxemia of pregnancy
    • Alcoholism
    • Down syndrome
    • Chronic lead toxicity
    • Eclampsia
    • Hypertension
    • Parathyroid dysfunction
    • Lesch-Nyhan syndrome
    • Multiple myeloma
    • Anemia
    • Type III hyperlipidemia
  • Decreased uric acid levels may indicate:
    • Fanconi’s syndrome
    • Severe liver disease
    • Wilson’s disease 

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario. 

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

Certain factors interfere with the results of the Uric Acid Blood Test. These include:

  • Excessive exercising
  • Diet
  • Individual differences in purine metabolism 

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider, the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Nov. 9, 2014
Last updated: July 15, 2019