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The blood uric acid test measures the amount of uric acid in a blood sample. Uric acid is produced from the natural breakdown of your body's cells and from the foods you eat.
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 increases.
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 deposits called tophi. High levels of uric acid may also cause kidney stones or kidney failure.
A uric acid blood test is done to:
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 non-prescription 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 pinch.
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.
3.4–7.0 milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL)
202–416 micromoles per litre (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 by:
Low uric acid values may be caused by:
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.
Current as of: March 28, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal MedicineBrian D. O'Brien MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineE. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family MedicineNancy Ann Shadick MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Current as of: March 28, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Brian D. O'Brien MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Nancy Ann Shadick MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
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