Serum neurone-specific enolase as an indicator of stroke volume

RT Cunningham, M Watt, John Winder, S McKinstry, JT Lawson, CF Johnston, SA Hawkins, KD Buchanan

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    Serum neurone-specific enolase (NSE) and computerized tomography (CT) stroke volume were compared in patients admitted within 24 h of an acute stroke. Serum samples were obtained on admission and daily for the next 4 days. Of 163 patients, CT scans revealed 25 with intracerebral haemorrhages, one haemorrhagic infarct and 83 measurable acute infarcts. The serum NSE levels of those with infarcts was significantly higher than in those with haemorrhages at 48 (P = 0 . 0003) and 72 h (P = 0 . 04). The maximum serum NSE value tended to occur later in those with large infarcts (P = 0 . 0035). There was a significant correlation between infarct volume and serum NSE at 48 h (r = 0 . 27, P = 0 . 015) and 96 h (r = 0 . 27, P = 0 . 015) and with the maximum serum NSE over the 4 days (r = 0 . 36, P = 0 . 001). There was no significant correlation between haemorrhage volume and NSE. In conclusion, serum NSE may be a useful marker of infarct volume in studies of therapy in acute stroke, Sampling for NSE should continue, at least in those with large infarcts, for longer than 4 days. Serum NSE cannot be used to distinguish between haemorrhage and infarction in patients with an acute stroke.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)298-303
    JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Apr 1996


    • cerebral infarction
    • intracerebral haemorrhage
    • neuronal damage
    • tomography
    • X-ray computed


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