URIC ACID TEST

URIC ACID TEST

  1. 1
    WHY AM I HAVING THIS TEST?

    Uric acid is a chemical that gets released when certain substances in the body (purines) break down. Normally, uric acid is filtered out of the blood by the kidneys, and then it leaves the body through urine. If your body makes too much uric acid, or if your kidneys are not removing enough of it, uric acid can start to form crystals that build up in your joints or kidneys. Uric acid crystals in your joints can cause a type of arthritis (gout). Crystals in your urine can form kidney stones.

    You may have a uric acid test: 

    • If you have joint pain or swelling that may be caused by gout.
    • If you frequently have kidney stones.
    • To help diagnose or monitor treatment of gout.
    • To monitor radiation or chemotherapy treatment.
    • To monitor kidney function or diagnose kidney disorders.
  2. 2
    WHAT IS BEING TESTED?

    This test measures the amount of uric acid in your blood or urine.

  3. 3
    WHAT KIND OF SAMPLE IS TAKEN?

    This test may be done with a blood sample or a urine sample.

    • A blood sample is usually collected by inserting a needle into a blood vessel. You may have a blood sample taken if:
      • You are receiving treatment that increases purines in your bodies, such as radiation or chemotherapy.
      • You have joint pain that may be caused by gout.
    • You may have a urine sample taken if you have kidney stones. You may be asked to collect urine samples at home over a period of 24 hours.
  4. 4
    HOW DO I COLLECT SAMPLES AT HOME?

    When collecting a urine sample at home, make sure you:

    • Use supplies and instructions that you received from the lab.
    • Collect urine only in the germ-free (sterile) cup that you received from the lab.
    • Do not let any toilet paper or stool (faeces) get into the cup.
    • Refrigerate the sample until you can return it to the lab.
    • Return the sample(s) to the lab as instructed.
  5. 5
    HOW DO I PREPARE FOR THIS TEST?

    Follow instructions from your health care provider about:

    • Eating or drinking restrictions. You may need to stop eating and drinking everything except water starting 4 hours before the test.
    • Changing or stopping your regular medicines. Some medicines can affect uric acid levels.

    Tell a health care provider about: 

    • Recent intense exercise. If you have recently exercised a lot, this may affect your test results.
    • Any allergies you have.
    • All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.
    • Any blood disorders you have.
    • Any surgeries you have had.
    • Any medical conditions you have.
    • Whether you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
  6. 6
    HOW ARE THE RESULTS REPORTED?

    Your results will be reported as a value that indicates how much uric acid is in your blood or urine. Your health care provider will compare your results to normal ranges that were established after testing a large group of people (reference ranges). Reference ranges may vary among labs and hospitals. For this test, common reference ranges are:

    • Blood test:
      • Adult male: 4.0–8.5 mg/dL or 0.24–0.51 mmol/L.
      • Adult female: 2.7–7.3 mg/dL or 0.16–0.43 mmol/L.
      • Child: 2.5–5.5 mg/dL or 0.12–0.32 mmol/L.
      • Newborn: 2.0–6.2 mg/dL.
    • Urine test: 250–750 mg/24 hr or 1.48–4.43 mmol/day (SI units).
  7. 7
    WHAT DO THE RESULTS MEAN?

    Results within your reference range are considered normal, meaning that you have a normal amount of uric acid in your body.

    Results that are higher than your reference range may mean that:

    • Your body is making too much uric acid.
    • Your kidneys are not removing enough uric acid.
    • Your gout treatment plan needs to be adjusted, if applicable.

    You may need more tests to determine what is causing high uric acid levels. Possible causes include:

    • Gout.
    • Kidney disease.
    • Cancer or cancer treatment.
    • A diet high in purines.
    • Alcohol abuse.
    • Diabetes (diabetes mellitus).

    Results that are below your reference range mean that you have too little uric acid in your body. This is usually caused by certain medicines and is usually not serious.

    Talk with your health care provider about what your results mean.

    Questions to ask your health care provider 

    Ask your health care provider or the department that is doing the test:

    • When will my results be ready?
    • How will I get my results?
    • What are my treatment options?
    • What other tests do I need?
    • What are my next steps?

    Summary 

    • Uric acid is a chemical that gets released when certain substances in the body (purines) break down.
    • If your body makes too much uric acid, or if your kidneys are not removing enough of it, uric acid can start to form crystals that build up in your joints or kidneys.
    • Uric acid crystals in your joints can cause a type of arthritis (gout). Crystals in your urine can form kidney stones.
    • This test measures the amount of uric acid in your blood or urine.
KNOWLEDGE BASE
About Genomic Medicine UK

Genomic Medicine UK is the home of comprehensive genomic testing in London. Our consultant medical doctors work tirelessly to provide the highest standards of medical laboratory testing for personalised medical treatments, genomic risk assessments for common diseases and genomic risk assessment for cancers at an affordable cost for everybody. We use state-of-the-art modern technologies of next-generation sequencing and DNA chip microarray to provide all of our patients and partner doctors with a reliable, evidence-based, thorough and valuable medical service.

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