Angiotensin Converting Enzyme
What is ACE?
Angiotensin Converting Enzyme measures how much angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) is present in your blood. ACE is an enzyme that converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II. Angiotensin II helps increase blood pressure by helping the small blood vessels in the body to tighten or narrow.
This test is primarily suggested to help diagnose and monitor sarcoidosis, a disorder in which small nodules may form under the skin and organs throughout the body. The symptoms may include red watery eyes, cough or shortness of breath, and joint pain.
A lower than normal level of ACE may indicate cystic fibrosis and emphysema. While, increased levels with clinical findings is suggestive of sarcoidosis. Other conditions that may cause higher levels of ACE include cirrhosis, diabetes, and HIV.
Why is ACE done?
- If you have signs or symptoms suggestive of sarcoidosis like chronic cough or shortness of breath, watery eyes, joint pains or grnaolaomas
- If you have been already diagnosed with sarcoidosis, this test may be ordered routinely to monitor the disease activity
Interpreting ACE results
- An increased ACE level in a person with clinical findings suggestive of sarcoidosis means that it is likely that a person has an active case of sarcoidosis, if other diseases have been ruled out. The finding of a high ACE level helps to confirm the diagnosis
- A normal ACE level cannot be sued to rule out sarcoidosis since sarcoidosis may be present without an elevated ACE level
- It may also be used to monitor the course of treatment in sarcoidosis. An initial high level which decreases over time usually indicates spontaneous or therapy induced remission and a favorable prognosis. On the other hand, a rising ACE level may indicate either the disease is not responding or it is progressing