The aim of this study was to evaluate adherence to recommended serum uric acid levels in the rheumatology outpatients department of a university teaching hospital. We performed a retrospective study of all patients with a definitive diagnosis of gout attending our subspecialty gout clinic between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2010. We evaluated adherence with two recently suggested uric acid thresholds, <300 μmol/L (<5 mg/dL) and <360 μmol/L (<6 mg/dL). Patient management was judged to adhere to the guidelines if either (1) the latest serum uric acid level was less than the specified guideline targets or (2) uric acid-lowering therapy was titrated upwards or the agent changed if the serum uric acid was above the guideline targets. One hundred two patients with a definitive diagnosis of gout attended the outpatients department between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2010 and were included in the study. Median serum uric acid level was 331 μmol/L (IQR 276-456 μmol/L). Eighty-six patients (84 %) were treated with allopurinol, six patients (6 %) were treated with febuxostat (one of whom also received probenecid), and one with rasburicase. In 80 patients (78 %), the management adhered to a target guideline of <360 μmol/L (<6 mg/dL). In 66 patients (65 %), the management adhered to a target guideline of <300 μmol/L (<5 mg/dL). A treat-to-target approach has the potential to improve patient outcomes in the management of gouty arthritis. Our study shows encouraging results with the majority of patients on appropriate therapy and reaching recommended targets.