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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 how much angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) is 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. The most common place is in 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's normal to have some ACE in your body. Certain medicines 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 may include:

  • Cough, wheezing, or shortness of breath

  • Fever

  • Extreme tiredness

  • Chest pain

  • Unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite

  • Sore or stiff joints

  • Eyesight problems

  • Dry mouth

  • Headache

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

What other tests might I have along with this test?

Your healthcare provider may also order these tests:

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

  • Chest X-ray

  • Sputum culture, or sample of fluid from your lungs

  • Biopsy of tissue samples

What do my test results mean?

Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, and other things. Your test results may be different depending on the lab used. They may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you.

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 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 (intravenous) drugs, and working in a place with airborne particulates or chemicals such as beryllium can affect your results. Certain medicines, such as those for treating high blood pressure, 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 healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illegal drugs you may use.  

Online Medical Reviewer: Chad Haldeman-Englert MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Maryann Foley RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Turley Jr PA-C
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2022
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.