Our observations have shown that chronic oral ethanol administration was associated with increased serum urate, urine uric acid excretion, urine uric acid clearance and oxypurine excretion. The daily rate of uric acid turnover was significantly increased. Intravenous ethanol administration was associated with increased uric acid excretion, increased uric acid clearance and significantly increased oxypurine excretion. Excretion of radioactivity derived from intravenously administered adenine increased significantly. We conclude that hyperuricemia related to ethanol consumption at lower blood ethanol levels (less than 150 mg/dl) results from increased production of uric acid probably secondary to accelerated degradation of adenine nucleotides.