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Uric acid is a product of the metabolic breakdown of purine nucleotides, and it is a normal component of urine. Uric acid is produced by the breakdown of purines. Purines are chemicals that come from nucleic acids (DNA, RNA). They enter the circulation from digestion of foods or from normal breakdown and turnover of cells in the body. Most uric acid is removed by the kidneys and disposed of in the urine; the remainder is excreted in the faeces.
If too much uric acid is produced or not enough is excreted, it can accumulate. The presence of excess uric acid can cause the condition called gout ? an inflammation that occurs in joints when crystals derived from uric acid form in the joint fluid.
The most common reasons for accumulation of uric acid are an inherited tendency to overproduce uric acid or poor kidney function which gives decreased ability to excrete uric acid. Doctors don't need to test for low levels of uric acid.
Serum Urate; UA; Uric Acid
Gout; Kidney Stones; Cancer
To detect high levels of uric acid in the blood, which could be a sign of the condition gout, or to monitor uric acid levels when undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment; to detect high levels of uric acid in the urine in order to diagnose the cause of kidney stones and to monitor those with gout who are at risk of developing such stones.
The uric acid blood test is ordered when a health care provider suspects that someone has a high uric acid level.
Some people with high levels of uric acid have a disease called gout, which is a common form of arthritis. People with gout suffer from joint pain, most often in their toes, but in other joints as well.
The test is also ordered to monitor cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, to ensure that uric acid levels do not get dangerously high.
The urine uric acid test may be ordered when a person suffers from recurrent kidney stones or has gout and needs to be monitored for formation of these stones.