Neuron Specific Enolase in serum measured by electrochemiluminescence on the Roche e602 system.
Neuron specific enolase (NSE) is a cell‑specific isoenzyme of the glycolytic enzyme, enolase. It is found at high concentrations in neural tissue, cells with neuroendocrine function, platelets and erythrocytes. NSE is a valuable marker of small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC), with elevated levels being found in 60-81% of SCLC. Levels of NSE in SCLC patients correlate with tumour burden, number of metastatic sites and response to treatment. Increased levels of NSE have been reported also in non‑small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but its use has not yet been widely accepted. NSE is also present in malignant tumours with neuroendocrine differentiation, including neuroblastoma (NB), where increased levels are seen in all stages of NB. Elevated NSE levels may also occur in a wide variety of other tumour diseases and clinical conditions including melanoma, seminoma, renal cell carcinoma, Merkel cell tumour, carcinoid tumours, dysgerminomas and immature teratomas, and malignant phaeochromocytomas. Due to its high concentration in neural tissue, elevated NSE is seen in cerebral tissue damage due to head injury or following ischaemic stroke, intracerebral haemorrhage, inflammatory brain diseases and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It is a valuable prognostic marker in the assessment of cognitive function post cardiac arrest.