Neuron-specific enolase measurement is used in the monitoring of patients with tumors of any type which secrete the neuron-specific enolase, as an adjunct to the diagnosis of small cell lung cancer, as an adjunct to the diagnosis of carcinoid tumors, tumor cells of the islets of the pancreas and neuroblastomas and as an adjunct test in the evaluation of patients in a coma.
Neuron-specific enolase (NSE) is a glycolytic enzyme found in neuronal and neuroendocrine cells of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Neuron-specific enolase is produced by cancer cells and is a sensitive cancer marker used to monitor response to treatment or the localization of neuroendocrine tumors. There is a strong correlation between the state of the neuroendocrine tumor and the concentration of neuron-specific enolase. Neuron-specific enolase levels are correlated with neuroblastoma outcomes whereas patients with very high serum NSE concentrations are likely to have metastatic small cell lung cancer.
Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
- Increase: Stress in brain cells (eg, secondary to convulsions, tumors, brain edema, brain injury), medullary thyroid carcinoma, neuroblastoma (increased > 90% of children with advanced condition), pancreatic islet cell cancer, small cell lung carcinoma, uremia.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.