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 out other disorders and confirm gout.

A 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 uric acid crystals. Uric acid crystals are present in nearly all cases of gout.

Blood tests may also be done to measure the level of uric acid crystals in the blood. Blood tests are also useful to rule out other joint conditions.

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

    
  • X-ray
  • MRI scan
  • Ultrasound