Skip to main content

Diagnosis of Gout

Gout may be suspected based on symptoms and medical history. Because there are several joint disorders with similar symptoms, other tests may be done to rule them out.

The standard test for gout is arthrocentesis. A needle is inserted into a joint or tophus and a fluid sample is removed. The fluid is evaluated under a microscope to look for urate crystals. Gout can be diagnosed if urate crystals are present. This happens in nearly all cases of gout.

Your blood will be tested for uric acid. It is usually elevated during gout attacks. Other blood tests, such as a complete blood count, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine, will also be done to rule out other joint conditions.

Imaging tests evaluate the joint and surrounding structures. These may include:

Revision Information

  • Gout. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Gout. Updated April 2015. Accessed February 24, 2017.

  • Gout. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115215/Gout. Updated September 2, 2016. Accessed February 24, 2017.

  • Gout. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Gout/default.asp. Updated April 2016. Accessed February 24, 2017.

  • Gout diagnosis. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/gout/diagnosing.php. Accessed February 24, 2017.

  • Gout testing. Lab Tests Online—American Association for Clinical Chemistry website. Available at: https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/conditions/gout/start/1. Updated December 16, 2015. Accessed February 24, 2017.

  • 4/24/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115215/Gout: Wise JN, Weissman BN, Appel M, et al. American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria for chronic foot pain. Available at: https://acsearch.acr.org/docs/69424/Narrative/. Updated 2013.

The health information in this Health Library is provided by a third party. TriStar Health does not in any way create the content of this information. It is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.