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Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (Blood)

Does this test have other names?

Serum angiotensin converting enzyme, SACE

What is this test?

This test measures the level of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) in your blood.

Your ACE levels may be higher if you have a condition called sarcoidosis. In sarcoidosis, small abnormal knots of immune cells called granulomas form in various parts of the body, most commonly the lungs. These knots of cells may cause health problems. Granulomas can also form in other conditions, so you may need other tests to figure out the exact cause.

It is normal to have some ACE in your body. Certain medications, called ACE inhibitors, act on ACE to control blood pressure.

Why do I need this test?

You may need this test if you have symptoms of sarcoidosis. Symptoms include:

  • Cough

  • Fever

  • Extreme tiredness

  • Shortness of breath

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Sore or stiff joints

  • "Gritty" feeling in your eyes

  • Dry mouth

  • Runny nose

  • Unusual skin changes, including sores, rashes, or hardened spots

What other tests might I have along with this test?

Your doctor may also order these tests:

  • Imaging tests, such a CT scan, to see if you have granulomas on your organs

  • Sputum culture, or sample of fluid from your lungs

  • Biopsy of tissue samples

What do my test results mean?

Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your health care provider.

Results are given in nanomoles per milliliter per minute (nmol/mL/min). The normal range for ACE is less than 40 nmol/mL/min. Higher levels of ACE may mean that you have sarcoidosis. But you can have normal ACE levels and still have sarcoidosis.

Other conditions that may cause higher levels of ACE include:

  • Primary biliary cirrhosis

  • Alcoholic liver disease

  • Hyperparathyroidism

  • Hyperthyroidism

  • Diabetes

  • Multiple myeloma

  • Lung disease

  • Amyloidosis

  • Gaucher's disease

  • Leprosy

How is this test done?

The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your arm.

Does this test pose any risks?

Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection, bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.

What might affect my test results?

Being exposed to tuberculosis, using IV drugs, and working in an environment with airborne particulates or chemicals such as beryllium can affect your results. Certain drugs can also affect your results.

How do I get ready for this test?

You don't need to prepare for this test. But be sure your doctor knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.