Referred Work

Preferred Sample Type

Neurone Specific Enolase (NSE)

Suitable Specimen Types

  • Serum
0.5 mL

Sample Processing in Laboratory

Usual to BHH and First Class Post to Reference Lab

Sample Preparation

Haemolysed samples are unsuitable.

Turnaround Time


Sample Stability


Neurone Specific Enolase (NSE)

General Information

Enolase is a glycolytic enzyme which catalyses the conversion of 2-phosphoglycerate to phosphoenolpyruvate.

NSE has been found in most tumours of neuroectodermal or neuroendocrine origin. Elevated concentrations of serum NSE have been described in patients with neuroblastoma, small-cell carcinoma of the lung, melanoma, pancreatic islet-cell carcinoma and hypernephroma.

Serum NSE can be of diagnostic value in suspected cases of neuroblastoma in childhood and, in this situation, provides a monitor of tumour bulk after initial treatment.

The elevated concentrations associated with small cell carcinoma of the lung, pancreatic islet cell tumours etc. are of value in monitoring tumour bulk but are of little value as a primary diagnostic aid.

NSE can provide useful information in terms of metastatic dissemination, particularly in relation to hepatic metastases, of melanoma of both skin and ocular primary origin.

Patient Preparation



Sample analysed at Dept of Immunology Oxford Radcliffe hospital. 

Reference Range

Provided by Reference Lab


  • EQA Scheme?: No
  • EQA Status:

    no EQA scheme available

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The Trust Laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital were awarded UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to the internationally recognised ISO 15189 standard in May 2015. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the test database
Tests not appearing on this scope are either under consideration or in the process of accreditation and so currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235

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