Banner image

ACE blood test

Serum angiotensin-converting enzyme; SACE

Find

Learn More

Definition

The ACE test measures the level of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) in the blood.

How the Test is Performed

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.

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.

Normal Results

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.

Risks

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:

  • Fainting or feeling lightheaded
  • Multiple punctures to locate veins
  • Hematoma (blood buildup under the skin)
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

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:

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)

Why the Test is Performed

This test may be commonly 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.

This test also helps confirm Gaucher disease and leprosy.

Review Date: 11/20/2017
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM QualityA.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 9-1-1 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only—they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.