Uric Acid Test

What is a Uric Acid Test?

A uric acid test measures the amount of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is produced by the breakdown of substances called purines, which are found naturally in the body and in certain foods. High levels of uric acid in the blood can lead to a condition called gout.

Preparation For Uric Acid Test

No special preparation is typically necessary for a uric acid test. Your healthcare provider may have you stop taking any drugs that can affect your uric acid level, such as diuretics (water pills), for a few days before the test.


There are two types of uric acid tests: serum and urine. Serum uric acid testing measures the amount of uric acid in the blood, while a urine uric acid test measures the amount of uric acid in the urine. The serum test is more commonly ordered, although the urine test may be requested to determine how your kidneys are processing uric acid.

The Procedure

To obtain a sample of blood for a serum uric acid test, a needle is inserted into the vein in your arm. The sample is collected in a tube or vial. A urine sample may also be collected for this purpose. You will be asked to provide a urine sample that is collected over 24 hours. This is typically done at home. After the sample is collected, it is sent to a laboratory for analysis.


There are very few risks associated with having a uric acid test. The most common risk is discomfort while a sample of blood is being obtained. Other possible risks include bruising at the puncture site, soreness, and a small risk of infection.

Why Get Tested?

A uric acid test may be used to diagnose and monitor gout, a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood. It is also used to monitor certain types of chemotherapy and to help diagnose kidney problems and other diseases that may affect uric acid levels. Signs and symptoms of high uric acid levels may include pain in the joints, especially the large joint of the big toe, and redness and swelling of the affected area.

When to Get Tested?

Your healthcare provider may recommend a uric acid test if you have symptoms that may be related to high levels of uric acid in the body, such as joint pain and inflammation. It may also be used to monitor your gout or kidney function if you have been diagnosed with gout or another condition that affects uric acid levels in the blood.