ACE blood testSerum angiotensin-converting enzyme; SACE
The ACE test measures the level of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) in the blood.
Enzymes are complex proteins that cause a specific chemical change in all parts of the body. For example, they can help break down the foods we eat ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
How the Test is Performed
Blood sample is needed
Venipuncture is the collection of blood from a vein. It is most often done for laboratory testing.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
How to Prepare for the Test
Follow your health care provider's instructions for not eating or drinking for up to 12 hours before the test. If you are on steroid medicine, ask your provider if you need to stop the medicine before the test, because steroids can decrease ACE levels. Do not stop any medicine before talking to your provider.
How the Test will Feel
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or slight bruising. This soon goes away.
Why the Test is Performed
This test is most often ordered to help diagnose and monitor a disorder called sarcoidosis. People with sarcoidosis may have their ACE level tested regularly to check how severe the disease is and how well treatment is working.
Sarcoidosis is a disease in which inflammation occurs in the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, eyes, skin, and/or other tissues.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
This test may also help confirm a diagnosis of Gaucher disease.
Gaucher disease is a rare genetic disorder in which a person lacks an enzyme called glucocerebrosidase (GBA).Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Normal values vary based on your age and the test method used. Adults have an ACE level less than 40 micrograms/L.
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Higher than normal ACE level may be a sign of sarcoidosis. ACE levels may rise or fall as sarcoidosis worsens or improves.
A higher than normal ACE level may also be seen in several other diseases and disorders, including:
- Adrenal glands do not make enough hormones (Addison disease)
- Cancer of the lymph tissue (Hodgkin disease)
- Liver swelling and inflammation (hepatitis) due to alcohol use
- Lung disease such as asthma, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or tuberculosis
Asthma is a chronic disease that causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow. It leads to breathing difficulty such as wheezing, shortness o...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common lung disease. Having COPD makes it hard to breathe. There are two main forms of COPD:Chroni...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Kidney disorder called nephrotic syndrome
- Multiple sclerosis
- Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- Overactive parathyroid glands (hyperparathyroidism)
- Stomach ulcer
Lower than normal ACE level may indicate:
- Chronic liver disease
- Chronic kidney failure
- Eating disorder called anorexia nervosa
- Steroid therapy (usually prednisone)
- Therapy for sarcoidosis
- Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
There is little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight, but may include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Fainting or feeling lightheaded
- Hematoma (blood buildup under the skin)
- Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
- Multiple punctures to locate veins
Nakamoto J. Endocrine testing. In: Jameson JL, De Groot LJ, de Kretser DM, et al, eds. Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 154.
Pincus MR, Carty RP. Clinical enzymology. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 21.
Young WF. Endocrine hypertension. In: Melmed S, Auchus, RJ, Goldfine AB, Koenig RJ, Rosen CJ, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 16.
Blood test - illustration
Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.
Blood test - illustration
Review Date: 11/5/2021
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.