Uric acid - blood
Uric acid is a chemical created when the body breaks down substances called purines. Purines are normally produced in the body and are also found in some foods and drinks. Foods with high content of purines include liver, anchovies, mackerel, dried beans and peas, and beer.
Most uric acid dissolves in blood and travels to the kidneys. From there, it passes out in urine. If your body produces too much uric acid or does not remove enough of it, you can get sick. A high level of uric acid in the blood is called hyperuricemia.
This test checks to see how much uric acid you have in your blood. Another test that can be used to check the level of
Gout - uric acid in blood; Hyperuricemia - uric acid in blood
How the Test is Performed
A blood sample is needed. Most of the time, blood is
How to Prepare for the Test
You should not eat or drink anything for 4 hours before the test unless told otherwise.
Many medicines can interfere with blood test results.
- Your health care provider will tell you if you need to stop taking any medicines before you have this test.
- DO NOT stop or change your medicines without talking to your provider first.
Why the Test is Performed
This test is done to see if you have a high level of uric acid in your blood. High levels of uric acid can sometimes cause
You may have this test if you have had or are about to have certain types of chemotherapy. Rapid destruction of cancerous cells or weight loss, which may occur with such treatments, can increase the amount of uric acid in your blood.
Normal values range between 3.5 to 7.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.
The example above shows the common measurement range for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Greater-than-normal levels of uric acid (hyperuricemia) may be due to:
- Alcohol (ethanol) consumption
- Chemotherapy-related side effects
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Excessive exercise
- Fructose consumption
- Lactic acidosis
- Medicines such as cyclosporine, diuretics, nicotinic acid, salicylates (low dose), tacrolimus
- Medullary cystic kidney disease
- Purine-rich diet
Renal failure Toxemia of pregnancy
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
Lower-than-normal levels of uric acid may be due to:
- Hereditary diseases of metabolism
- HIV infection
- Low purine diet
- Medicines such as atorvastatin, captopril, enalapril, fenofibrate, losartan, probenecid, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole
Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) secretion
Other reasons this test may be performed include:
- Chronic kidney disease
Injury of the kidney and ureter
- Kidney stones (nephrolithiasis)
Dalbeth N. Clinical features and treatment of gout. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Gabriel SE, Koretzky GA, McInnes IB, O'Dell JR, eds. Firestein & Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 101.
Edwards NL. Crystal deposition diseases. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 257.
Weisbord SD, Palevsky PM. Prevention and management of acute kidney injury. In: Yu ASL, Chertow GM, Luyckx VA, Marsden PA, Skorecki K, Taal MW, eds. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 29.
Review Date: 04/30/2023
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright ©2019 A.D.A.M., Inc., as modified by University of California San Francisco. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Information developed by A.D.A.M., Inc. regarding tests and test results may not directly correspond with information provided by UCSF Health. Please discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.