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Urate (Uric Acid)

Blood Sciences Test





Reference Range


≤1M: 59 – 270
1M – 3 Y: 105 – 300
3 – 6 Y: 130 – 280
6 – 9 Y: 120 – 295
9 – 12 Y: 120 – 330

F 12 – 18 Y: 130 – 380

F 18 – 120 Y: 140 – 360

M 12 – 18 Y: 160 – 430

M 18 – 120 Y: 200 – 430

Females in pregnancy <340 umol/L

Test Usage

Uric acid is an end product of purine metabolism. About one half of the total body pool turns over each day, partly by urinary excretion and partly through destruction in the intestinal tract. Men usually have higher levels than women of the same age. After menopause, serum uric acid levels in women approach those of men. Newborns generally have elevated uric acid levels.

Gout is a disorder of purine metabolism, characterized by a sudden onset acute arthritis, resulting from deposition of monosodium urate crystals in connective tissues, articular cartilage and synovial fluid. The classic presentation is severe pain in the foot, especially the great toe, which is known as podagra. Gout onset often occurs at night and may be associated with such severe pain that the patient cannot wear a shoe. Gout can present in other joints such as the elbow, wrist, foot, arch, ankle, or finger and can present as mono, oligo or polyarticular arthritis. The initial episode usually subsides within 3 to 10 days, even without treatment.

Most patients with hyperuricemia are asymptomatic and never develop gout. The presence or absence of hyperuricemia is not diagnostic of gout. A patient with gout may have a normal uric acid level at the time of presentation. Persistent elevation of serum uric acid is associated with renal complications.

Excess uric acid is deposited in the synovium causing arthritis. The best way to diagnose gout is to identify uric acid crystals in synovial fluid. Even in the absence of active joint effusions, gout and pseudogout can be diagnosed from synovial fluid.

Not all patients with elevated uric acid have gout. Elevated serum uric acid also occurs with chronic renal disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, obesity, atherosclerosis, and eclampsia. Diseases associated with increased cell turnover such as leukemia, lymphoma, and psoriasis may produce hyperuricemia. Ethanol consumption can also raise serum uric acid levels. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may cause the release of large amounts of uric acid from necrotic tumor cells. Certain medications reduce the excretion of uric acid including thiazide diuretics, loop diuretics, low dose aspirin, cyclosporine, niacin, ethambutol, pyrazinamide, and didanosine.

Elevated uric acid levels are commonly encountered in patients with essential hypertension. Asymptomatic hyperuricemia may even precede the diagnosis and treatment of essential hypertension. Previous dogma suggested that uric acid was simply a marker of other coronary disease risk factors such as obesity, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes mellitus. However, a recent multivariate analysis of 3900 hypertensive people in the NHANES III database showed that raised serum uric acid is independently associated with a higher sex and age adjusted risk of heart attack and stroke (Lancet 1998; 352:670-1). Serum uric acid increases as arterial blood pressure rises, possibly related to reduced renal blood flow. Elevated uric acid is also associated with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation and subsequent vascular injury. Rising uric acid levels in hypertensive patients may be an early indicator of cardiac and renal disease.

Low levels of uric acid can be seen in patients with liver disease, malnutrition, Fanconi syndrome, acute intermittent porphyria, hemochromatosis, and SIADH. Many medications can reduce uric acid levels including high dose salicylate, corticosteroids, allopurinol, Probenicid, and massive doses of vitamin C.

Serum uric acid can also be used to differentiate diabetes insipidus from psychogenic polydipsia. Patients with diabetes insipidus usually have raised serum uric acid levels while patients with psychogenic polydipsia have low levels.

Pre-eclampsia is a complex and unpredictable disorder that may occur during pregnancy. Its presentation ranges from mild to severe, and the condition may lead to the death of the mother and/or the baby in extreme cases. The earlier the disorder is detected and managed, the better the outcome.  Increased uric acid level is a key clinical feature of preeclampsia; higher levels correlate with significant maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality.

Turnaround Time



Local test

Can be added on to an existing request up to 4 days following sample receipt

Specimen Labelling Procedure
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