Plasma Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) Activity in Healthy Controls and Patients with Cardiovascular Risk Factors and/or Disease

Hui Yin Lim, Sheila K. Patel, Ping Huang, Mark Tacey, Kay Weng Choy, Julie Wang, Geoffrey Donnan, Harshal H. Nandurkar, Prahlad Ho, Louise M. Burrell

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Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is an endogenous negative regulator of the renin-angiotensin system, a key factor in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). ACE2 is also used by SARS-CoV-2 for host cell entry. Given that COVID-19 is associated with hypercoagulability, it is timely to explore the potential relationship between plasma ACE2 activity and the coagulation profile. In this cross-sectional study, ACE2 activity and global coagulation assays (GCA) including thromboelastography, thrombin, and fibrin generation were measured in adult healthy controls (n = 123; mean age 41 ± 17 years; 35% male) and in patients with cardiovascular risk factors and/or disease (n = 258; mean age 65 ± 14 years; 55% male). ACE2 activity was significantly lower in controls compared to patients with cardiovascular risk factors and/or disease (median 0.10 (0.02, 3.33) vs. 5.99 (1.95, 10.37) pmol/mL/min, p < 0.001). Of the healthy controls, 48% had undetectable ACE2 activity. Controls with detectable ACE2 had lower maximum amplitude (p < 0.001). In patients with cardiovascular risk factors and/or disease, those in the 3rd tertile were older and male (p = 0.002), with a higher Framingham grade and increased number of cardiovascular risk factors (p < 0.001). In conclusion, plasma ACE2 activity is undetectable to very low in young healthy controls with minimal clinically relevant associations to GCA. Patients with cardiovascular risk factors and/or disease have increased plasma ACE2 activity, suggesting that it may be an important biomarker of endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1495
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • angiotensin converting enzyme 2
  • cardiovascular disease
  • coagulation
  • renin angiotensin system

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