Journal Mobile Options
Table of Contents
Vol. 28, No. 2, 2007
Issue release date: February 2007
Tumor Biol 2007;28:84–92

Performance Characteristics of Seven Neuron-Specific Enolase Assays

Stern P. · Bartos V. · Uhrova J. · Bezdickova D. · Vanickova Z. · Tichy V. · Pelinkova K. · Prusa R. · Zima T.
aDepartment of Clinical Biochemistry, Institute for Postgraduate Medical Education, bInstitute of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics, General University Hospital and First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, cDepartment of Clinical Biochemistry and Hematology, Centromed, and dInstitute of Clinical Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry, Faculty Hospital Motol, Prague, and eDepartment of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital and Policlinic, Ostrava, Czech Republic

Individual Users: Register with Karger Login Information

Please create your User ID & Password

Contact Information

I have read the Karger Terms and Conditions and agree.

To view the fulltext, please log in

To view the pdf, please log in


Background/Aims: The determination of neuron-specific enolase (NSE) is relatively frequently requested in the differential diagnosis of small-cell lung carcinoma and non-small-cell lung carcinoma. The individual results of different immunoassays are often not comparable, which has been confirmed by long-term external quality assessments. In this study, we assessed the possible sources of these differences. Methods: More than 3,000 NSE analyses were performed using seven different immunoassays: DELFIA (PerkinElmer), Elecsys 2010 or Modular Analytics E 170 (Roche), Kryptor (B.R.A.H.M.S.), the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay DRG and three assays based on immunoradiometric assays (DiaSorin, Immunotech and Schering-CIS). The following parameters were evaluated: precision profile of the individual methods, linearity on dilution and modified recovery, comparability and discrimination of immunoassays, sensitivity, and specificity. Results: There were differences in the correlation of values of certain low-concentration specimens. Some assays correlate well while others do not (up to fivefold difference), especially in the case of controls prepared synthetically. Therefore, the current non-standardized preparation of controls is questionable in our opinion. In the cutoff range, the difference in the results of native samples did not exceed its double value. The variation in values >100 µg/l obtained with different assays is <40%. Conclusion: Our results confirmed expected matrix interferences especially in the range of normal and cutoff NSE concentrations. Another source of discrepancies can be attributed to different antibody affinity to αγ- and γγ-enolase isoenzymes. Finally, improper settings of cutoff values also contribute to the different discrimination of the methods.

Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.


  1. Würziger U: Prospektive klinische Untersuchung zum Einfluss der Elekrokrampftherapie auf die Serumkonzentration von NSE und Protein S-100 und kognitive Funktionen psychiatrischer Klinikpatienten; Inaugural Dissertation, Ruhr-Universität Bochum 2002, p 16.
  2. Duncan ME, McAleese SM, Booth NA, Melvin WT, Fothergill JE: A simple enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the neuron-specific gamma isozyme of human enolase (NSE) using monoclonal antibodies raised against synthetic peptides corresponding to isozyme sequence differences. J Immunol Methods 1992;151:227–236.
  3. Paus E, Risberg T: Establishment and evaluation of a radioimmunoassay for neuron-specific enolase. A marker for small cell lung cancer. Tumor Biol 1989;10:23–30.
  4. Aoki T, Kaneta M, Onagi H, Morikawa J, Tsubota N, Watabe H: Modification of human neuron-specific enolase for application to radioimmunoassay. Biochem Mol Biol Int 1996;39:461–469.
  5. Sterk M, Oenings A, Eymann E, Roos W: Development of a new automated enzyme immunoassay for the determination of neuron-specific enolase. Anticancer Res 1999;19:2759–2762.
  6. Muley T, Ebert W, Stieber P, Raith H, Holdenrieder S, Nagel D, Furst H, Roth HJ, Luthe H, Blijenberg BG, Gurr E, Uhl W, von Pawel J, Drings P: Technical performance and diagnostic utility of the new Elecsys neuron-specific enolase enzyme immunoassay. Clin Chem Lab Med 2003;41:95–103.
  7. Viallard JL, Ven Murthy MR, Dastugue B: Rapid electrophoretic determination of neuron-specific enolase isoenzymes in serum. Clin Chem 1986;32:593–597.
  8. Kimura S, Hayano T, Kato K: Properties and application to immunoassays of monoclonal antibodies to neuron-specific enolase. Biochim Biophys Acta 1984;799:252–259.
  9. Pahlman S, Esscher T, Bergvall P, Odelstad L: Purification and characterization of human neuron-specific enolase: radioimmunoassay development. Tumour Biol 1984;5:127–139.
  10. Harrington CR, Quinn GB, Hurt J, Day IN, Wischik CM: Characterization of an epitope specific to the neuron-specific isoform of human enolase recognised by a monoclonal antibody raised against a synthetic peptide corresponding to the C-terminus of beta/A4-protein. Biochim Biophys Acta 1993;1158:120–128.
  11. Marangos PJ, Zis AP, Clark RL, Goodwin FK: Neuronal, non-neuronal and hybrid forms of enolase in brain: structural, immunological and functional comparison. Brain Res 1978;150:117–133.
  12. McAleese SM, Dunbar B, Fothergill JE, Hinks LJ, Day IN: Complete amino acid sequence of the neurone-specific gamma isozyme of enolase (NSE) from human brain and comparison with the non-neuronal alpha form (NNE). Eur J Biochem 1988;178:413–417.
  13. Soler-Federsppiel BS, Cras P, Gheuens J, Andries D, Lowenthal A: Human gamma gamma-enolase: two-site immunoradiometric assay with a single monoclonal antibody. J Neurochem 1987;48:22–28.
  14. Notomi T, Morikawa J, Kato K, Tsuchida Y, Ohsawa R: Radioimmunoassay development for human neuron-specific enolase: with some clinical results in lung cancers and neuroblastoma. Tumour Biol 1985;6:57–66.
  15. Drivsholm L, Osterlind K, Cooper EH, Purves DA: Neuron-specific enolase (NSE) in serum. Comparison of monoclonal versus polyclonal assay based on 392 blood samples. Int J Biol Markers 1995;10:1–4.
  16. Paus E, Nustad K: Immunoradiometric assay for alpha gamma- and gamma gamma-enolase (neuron-specific enolase), with use of monoclonal antibodies and magnetizable polymer particles. Clin Chem 1989;35:2034–2038.

Pay-per-View Options
Direct payment This item at the regular price: USD 38.00
Payment from account With a Karger Pay-per-View account (down payment USD 150) you profit from a special rate for this and other single items.
This item at the discounted price: USD 26.50