Blood Test: Uric Acid
What Is a Blood Test?
By taking and testing a small sample of a person’s blood, doctors can check for many kinds of diseases and conditions. Blood tests help doctors check how the body’s organs are working and see if medical treatments are helpful.
To help your child get ready for a blood test, find out if they need to fast (not eat or drink) or should stop taking medicines before the test. Explain what to expect during the test. If your child is anxious about it, work together on ways to stay calm.
What Is Uric Acid?
During digestion of foods or from normal breakdown of some of the body's cells, chemicals called purines (PURE-eens) enter the bloodstream. As they break down, they make uric (YER-ik) acid. The kidneys filter most uric acid out of blood, which then leaves the body in pee. Some uric acid also leaves the body in poop.
Uric acid can build up when the body makes too much or doesn’t get rid of enough of it. Too much uric acid can also form crystals or kidney stones.
Why Are Uric Acid Tests Done?
This test measures the amount of uric acid in the blood. Doctors may order a uric acid blood test if a child's body is breaking down cells too quickly or not getting rid of uric acid as well as it should. Some children with leukemia or other types of cancer can have high levels of uric acid (hyperuricemia).
The test also can help doctors monitor kids who get chemotherapy or radiation treatment. These treatments can increase the amount of uric acid in the blood, so the test can help make sure that levels don't get too high.
The uric acid blood test also may be ordered if kids show signs of kidney failure. Low levels of uric acid (hypouricemia) can happen with starvation and some medical conditions.
What if I Have Questions?
If you have questions about the uric acid test or what the test results mean, talk to your doctor.