Serum angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity determination can aid the early diagnosis of sarcoidosis. We aimed to optimize a fluorescent kinetic assay for ACE activity by screening the confounding effects of endogenous ACE inhibitors and interfering factors. Genotype-dependent and genotype-independent reference values of ACE activity were established, and their diagnostic accuracies were validated in a clinical study. Internally quenched fluorescent substrate, Abz-FRK(Dnp)P-OH was used for ACE-activity measurements. A total of 201 healthy individuals and 59 presumably sarcoidotic patients were enrolled into this study. ACE activity and insertion/deletion (I/D) genotype of the ACE gene were determined. Here we report that serum samples should be diluted at least 35-fold to eliminate the endogenous inhibitor effect of albumin. No significant interferences were detected: up to a triglyceride concentration of 16 mM, a hemoglobin concentration of 0.71 g/L and a bilirubin concentration of 150 μM. Genotype-dependent reference intervals were considered as 3.76-11.25 U/L, 5.22-11.59 U/L, 7.19-14.84 U/L for II, ID and DD genotypes, respectively. I/D genotype-independent reference interval was established as 4.85-13.79 U/L. An ACE activity value was considered positive for sarcoidosis when it exceeded the upper limit of the reference interval. The optimized assay with genotype-dependent reference ranges resulted in 42.5% sensitivity, 100% specificity, 100% positive predictive value and 32.4% negative predictive value in the clinical study, whereas the genotype-independent reference range proved to have inferior diagnostic efficiency. An optimized fluorescent kinetic assay of serum ACE activity combined with ACE I/D genotype determination is an alternative to invasive biopsy for confirming the diagnosis of sarcoidosis in a significant percentage of patients.
- angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)
- reference interval
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical