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Uric Acid in Blood

Risks

There is very little chance of a problem from having a blood sample taken from a vein.

  • You may get a small bruise at the site. You can lower the chance of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several minutes.
  • In rare case, the vein may become swollen after the blood sample is taken. This problem is called phlebitis. A warm compress can be used several times a day to treat this.
  • Ongoing bleeding can be a problem for people with bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood-thinning medicines can make bleeding more likely. If you have bleeding or clotting problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell your doctor before your blood sample is taken.

Results

The blood uric acid test measures the amount of uric acid in a blood sample.

Normal

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.

Uric acid in blood1

Men:

3.4–7.0 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)

202–416 micromoles per liter (mcmol/L)

Women:

2.4–6.0 mg/dL

143–357 mcmol/L

Children:

2.0–5.5 mg/dL

119–327 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 camera.gif 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.

What Affects the Test

High values

High uric acid values may be caused by:

  • Individual differences in the way your body produces or gets rid of uric acid.
  • Conditions, such as:
    • Kidney disease or kidney damage.
    • The increased breakdown of body cells that occurs with some types of cancer (including leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma) or cancer treatments, hemolytic anemia, sickle cell anemia, or heart failure.
    • Other disorders, such as alcohol dependence, preeclampsia, liver disease (cirrhosis), obesity, psoriasis, hypothyroidism, and low blood levels of parathyroid hormone.
    • Starvation, malnutrition, or lead poisoning.
    • A rare inherited gene disorder called Lesch-Nyhan syndrome.
  • Medicines, such as some diuretics, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), lower doses of aspirin (75 to 100 mg daily), niacin, warfarin (such as Coumadin), cyclosporine, levodopa, tacrolimus, and some medicines used to treat leukemia, lymphoma, or tuberculosis.
  • Eating foods that are very high in purines, such as organ meats (liver, brains), red meats (beef, lamb), game meat (deer, elk), some seafood (sardines, herring, scallops), and beer.

Low values

Low uric acid values may be caused by:

  • Severe liver disease, Wilson's disease, or some types of cancer.
  • The syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH), a condition that causes large amounts of fluid to build up in the body.
  • Not eating enough protein.
  • Sulfinpyrazone, large amounts of aspirin (1,500 mg or more daily), probenecid (such as Probalan), and allopurinol (such as Zyloprim).

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 12, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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