Primus Pathology Laboratory

Uric Acid Test

Last Updated on July 28, 2022 by Dr. Neeraj Gujar


A Uric Acid Blood Test is also known as a serum urate (SU) test. It measures how much uric acid is present in your blood. This test will help you determine how your body makes and removes uric acids.

Uric acid is a chemical that your body produces when it breaks down organic compounds known as purines. Drinks and foods with high levels of purine include:

  • Liver
  • Dried beans
  • Anchovies
  • Mackerel
  • Beer
  • Wine

The body’s natural process of cell destruction also creates purines.

The majority of uric acid dissolves in the blood and is then filtered through the kidneys and excreted in the urine. Sometimes, the body doesn’t filter enough uric acid out or produces too much. Hyperuricemia refers to a condition that results from too much uric acid in the body.

Why Test Is Done?

The test is most commonly used to:

  • Diagnose gout and monitor the treatment
  • Diagnose kidney disorders
  • After an injury, test your kidney function
  • Find the root cause of kidney stone
  • Monitor people who are receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy

You can also test your urine for uric acids over 24 hours. Sometimes, your doctor may recommend both to confirm the diagnosis.

When To Get Tested?

This test can be used by your doctor to determine if you have:

Gout is a type of arthritis in which crystals from the uric acid build up in your joints, causing intense pain. It is often felt in the big toe. However, it can also be felt in your feet, ankles, hands, wrists, and knees. It can cause redness, swelling, and discomfort in the joints and limit your movement.

Kidney stone: This is a small, hard mass that forms in your kidneys if you have too much uric acid in your system. These can cause severe pain in the lower back, bloody urine, vomiting, and an urgency to pee.

High levels of uric acid during chemotherapy or radiation: These treatments can cause a lot of cell death, which can lead to an increase in uric acid. This test is done to ensure that your level does not rise.

How To Get Tested?

If your doctor suggests you a uric acid test, you can get the blood test either at a lab or check for a blood test at home option.

Also Read: Know Everything About a Blood Test

Before the Test

Some things that could interfere with your results on your uric Acid test are:

  • Alcohol
  • High levels of Vitamin A
  • Certain medications such as Bufferin (Aspirin) or Motrin IB (Ibuprofen)
  • Dyes for X-ray testing

Discuss with your doctor if you are taking any prescriptions or over-the-counter medications or supplements.

You may need to fast for up to 4 hours before the test.

During the Test

Venipuncture is the process of taking a sample of blood for testing.

A vein is a place where blood is taken from by a doctor or other healthcare provider. This could be your inner elbow, the back of your hand, or your arm.

They disinfect the area first with an antiseptic. To allow blood to flow to the veins, they wrap an elastic band around your arm.

The next step is to insert a needle into your vein. A vial is used to collect the blood. After the blood is collected, the healthcare provider will remove the needle from your vein and untie it.

They will then apply pressure to the area where the needle was inserted and, if necessary, bandage it.

The healthcare provider might make a small cut to the arm for infants or young children and then use a slide or test strip to take a small amount of blood. If necessary, they will clean and bandage the area.

After the blood has been collected, it is sent to a laboratory for analysis.

After The Test

Routine blood draws are very safe. A uric acid test is a routine blood test and has the same risks as any other blood draw. The following may be caused by uric acid blood tests:

  • Pain or discomfort at the puncture site
  • Fainting, lightheadedness
  • Bleeding
  • Infection at the puncture site
  • An accumulation of blood under the skin such as hematomas or bruising

You should seek medical attention immediately if you have severe bleeding that doesn’t stop following a blood test. This is rare. However, you should be ready in case of an emergency.

Test Results

The sex of the person consuming uric acid can affect its levels. 1.5 to 6.0 milligrams/deciliters (mg/dL) is the normal value for women and 2.5 to 7.0 mg/dL for men. The lab that performed the testing may have different results, and the same shall be mentioned in the report.

Low levels of uric acids are less common than high levels and pose less health risk.

Interpreting Results

Hyperuricemia refers to a blood level of uric acid that is greater than 6.0 mg/dL for women and more than 7.0 mg/dL for men. If you have gout, your target level of uric acid should not exceed 6.0 mg/dL according to the American College of Rheumatology.

A high level of uric acids in your blood can indicate that your body is producing too much or that your kidneys don’t remove enough. Your uric acid level can be affected by cancer or treatment.

A high level of uric acid in your blood could also be a sign of other conditions, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Gout is a condition that causes recurring attacks of acute joint pain
  • Leukemia is a bone marrow disorder.
  • Chemotherapy
  • A diet high in purines
  • Acute Kidney Failure is one example of kidney disease.
  • Kidney stones
  • Hypoparathyroidism is a decline in your parathyroid function.
  • A multiple myeloma is a form of cancer that affects the plasma cells within your bone marrow.
  • Metastasized cancer is cancer that has spread beyond its original site.

Gout is not confirmed by the blood uric acid test. The only way to confirm the existence of gout is to test the fluid in the joint for monosodium urate.

Your doctor will be able to make an educated guess about your high blood pressure and your gout symptoms. It is possible to have high levels of uric acid without gout symptoms. This is called asymptomatic hyperuricemia.

Low levels of blood uric acid may indicate:

  • Wilson’s Disease is an inherited condition that causes copper buildup in your body tissues
  • Fanconi Syndrome is a condition that affects the kidneys and is most often caused by Cystinosis.
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Alcoholism
  • A diet low in purines

What To Do in Case of High Levels?

The results of your uric acid blood tests can help you determine the best treatment. You may not require treatment in some cases.

Gout can be diagnosed by your doctor. Treatment could include medication to reduce swelling and pain.

Making dietary changes to reduce purines may also be beneficial. If you suffer from chronic uric acid kidney stones, changing your diet could be a good idea.

You may require frequent blood test monitoring if you are undergoing chemotherapy. This is to ensure that your uric acid levels are not too high.

Also Read: Top 9 Annual Blood Tests to Keep You Healthy and Active


Which foods trigger gout?

The top foods and drinks that trigger gout are:

  • Sugary drinks and soft drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Organ meats such as liver
  • Certain seafood like herring, scallops, mussels, codfish, tuna, trout, and haddock
  • Red meats, including beef, lamb, pork, and bacon
  • Turkey
Is uric acid tested in a CBC?

No. The Uric acid blood test is not included in the complete blood count (CBC) test. You need to get it done separately.

Do I need to fast for a uric acid test?

Certain medical tests sometimes require certain preparations, such as fasting. Uric acid tests usually do not require any preparation. Yet sometimes, the doctor may recommend you to fast for 4-5 hours before the test.

by Dr. Neeraj Gujar

Dr. Neeraj Gujar has done his M.D. in Pathology from Government Medical College. He has worked at various organisations such as Breach Candy Hospital and Tata Memorial Hospital along with many other private organisations. During his working career, he realised the pressing need for exceptional quality diagnostic services. A diagnostic centre that can consistently give accurate results verified by a consultant doctor (M.D. Pathologist) on which your doctor can depend. This has been the founding principle of Primus Pathology and Diagnostics.

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