With foetal sonography prenatal detection of tumours has become more frequent. To evaluate and treat these infants it is necessary to identify the tumour postnatally. Elevated neuron-specific enolase is a biochemical marker of neuroblastoma. Since conditions during birth may influence neuron-specific enolase concentration in foetal serum, specific reference values in cord blood are required. Cord blood samples were taken from 192 healthy term newborns and concentration of neuron-specific enolase was measured by enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Median neuron-specific enolase concentration in the reference group was 8.0 μg/l and the 5th–95th percentiles were 4.8–19.4 μg/l. No differences between male and female newborns were detected (p = 0.13).
Measurement of neuron-specific enoloase in cord blood, in comparison with our reference values, offers an early postnatal possibility of confirming the diagnosis of neuroblastoma.
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