ACE tissue nodules blood pressure
ACE: also known as Angiotensin Converting Enzyme, can help diagnose sarcoϊdosis (Besnier-Boeck-Schaumann disease).
The test determines the amount of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) in the blood. ACE is an enzyme, mainly involved in the regulation of blood pressure. It is made throughout the body, but is especially present in the lungs. Furthermore, many, but certainly not all, patients with active sarcoϊdosis have elevated and ACE levels.
Sarcoϊdosis is a chronic disease with unknown cause and course. The entire body can be affected but the disease is most frequently manifested in the lungs. A genetic predisposition may play a role in this disease, which usually affects young adults (20-40 years) and is equally common in men and women.
The disease is characterized by so-called "granulomas," small accumulations of inflammatory cells. The inflammation is often visible on an x-ray of the lungs due to enlarged lymph nodes between the lungs and sometimes compression of the lung itself. Sarcoϊdosis is a condition in which inflammation develops in various parts of the body, especially in the lungs, lymph nodes, skin, eyes and joints. In these areas, many white blood cells accumulate in small nodules. These tissue nodules are called granulomas.
General symptoms are:
- weight loss
- night sweats
Furthermore, the symptoms depend on the organs where the granulomas are located.
If the disease concentrates in the lungs, it leads to symptoms such as:
- shortness of breath
- chronic cough
When joints are affected it leads to:
- joint pain
If the lymph nodes are affected:
- swelling of lymph nodes in the groin and/or neck
When granulomas occur in the eyes:
- eye problems
An ACE determination alone is not enough to diagnose sarcoϊdosis. In healthy people the ACE level in the blood is approximately 12-86 U/l. In approximately 15% of sarcoϊdosis patients, the ACE value is not elevated. Normal values are also seen in pulmonary tuberculosis and pulmonary fibrosis, diseases whose symptoms resemble those of sarcoϊdosis.
Elevated values occur naturally in young people (under 20 years of age). In old age, the concentration of ACE decreases to a stable low level. Increased ACE levels can occur in sarcoϊdosis (but not always) and also for example in cases of increased thyroid function (hyperthyroidism), diabetes (Diabetes Mellitus), smoking and alcoholism.
Granulomas, small bumps under the skin or a persistent cough can lead to sarcoϊdosis. In sarcoϊdosis, the ACE in the blood is usually elevated. However, more tests are needed to make this diagnosis. Often the doctor will also request a pulmonary function test and a lysozyme test. Elevated ACE levels can also occur with increased thyroid function, diabetes and alcoholism.
Decreased ACE levels occur with poor thyroid function, in the presence of lung tumors, and after the administration of and ACE inhibitors (high blood pressure medication).