Serum angiotensin-converting enzyme in leprosy and coccidioidomycosis.
Serum angiotensin-converting enzyme levels were found to be elevated in 71.4% of 42 leprosy patients, both treated and untreated, but in only one of 13 patients with disseminated coccidioidomycosis. The elevations with leprosy were present in association with each of the three major categories: lepromatous, borderline, or tuberculoid. Sulfone therapy had no immediate effect on the elevated serum levels, although long-term sulfone therapy appeared to result in lowering of the level. Corticosteroid therapy had a more immediate and dramatic effect on reducing the elevated angiotensin-converting enzyme level in leprosy. This assay cannot distinguish between sarcoidosis and leprosy or between the various categories of leprosy, but it can help differentiate sarcoidosis from fungal or tuberculous disease. Elevated levels of serum angiotensin-converting enzyme have now been associated with three diseases states: sarcoidosis, Gaucher's disease, and leprosy.