EUH Hunt Conference: What is the sensitivity/specificity of ACE levels in cardiac sarcoidosis?

The Bottom Line:  Serum levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) can be helpful in the diagnosis of sarcoidosis. However, the test has somewhat low sensitivity and specificity. Elevated levels of ACE are reported in 60% of patients with acute disease and only 20% of patients with chronic disease. Although there are several causes for mild elevation of ACE, including diabetes, elevations of >50% of the upper limit of normal are seen in only a few conditions including sarcoidosis, leprosy, Gaucher’s disease, hyperthyroidism, and disseminated granulomatous infections such as miliary tuberculosis. Because the ACE level is determined by a biologic assay, the concurrent use of an ACE inhibitor such as lisinopril will lead to a very low ACE level.

Reference: Baughman RP, Lower EE. Sarcoidosis. In: Kasper D, Fauci A, Hauser S, Longo D, Jameson J, Loscalzo J. eds. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 19e New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2014.

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