Neuron Specific Enolase (NSE)

NSE is an enzyme in humans encoded by the ENO2 gene. It is a phosphopyruvate hydratase. This enzyme is found in mature neurons and cells of neuronal origin, and is released after neuronal damage.

NSE has been studied as a marker for brain injury. Serum levels have been shown to be elevated in patients with stroke, correlates with the infarct volume and the degree of neurologic deficit. However, increase in serum NSE after brain injury occur late and lack sensitity and specificity.


  • Sensitivity 53%
  • Specificity 64%



Enolase 2. (2019). Retrieved from

González-García, S., González-Quevedo, A., Peña-Sánchez, M., Menéndez-Saínz, C., Fernández-Carriera, R., & Arteche-Prior, M. et al. (2012). Serum neuron-specific enolase and S100 calcium binding protein B biomarker levels do not improve diagnosis of acute stroke. The Journal Of The Royal College Of Physicians Of Edinburgh, 42(3), 199-204. doi: 10.4997/jrcpe.2012.302

UpToDate. (2019). Retrieved from

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