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NMDA – N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antibodies

Referred to:

Clinical Laboratory Immunology
Churchill Hospital
Churchill Drive
Old Road

General information

Indication: Cerebral dysfunction. Paraneoplastic encephalitis associated with immature teratoma of the ovary.

Specimen transport: At room temperature

Repeat frequency: At change of clinical symptoms

Special precautions: None

Laboratory information

Normal reference range: Negative

Volume and sample type: A paired 0.5mL serum and 0.5mL CSF sample, although plasma is acceptable.

Method: Cell based assay/Immunofluorescence Microscopy

Turnaround time: (calendar days from sample receipt to authorised result): Median - 16, 95th percentile - 34

Clinical information

Indications for the test: NMDA receptor antibodies are associated with the different sub units of the NMDA receptor. Antibodies to the delta or NR2 subunits of NMDA receptor are associated with limbic encephalitis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), ataxia and epilepsia partialis continua. Antibodies against the NR1, NR2A and NR2B subunits of the NMDA are found in patients presenting with psychiatric symptoms, amnesia, seizures, dyskinesias, autonomic dysfunction and loss of consciousness. In women younger than 45 years, a form of encephalitis associated with ovarian teratoma and presenting with seizures and psychiatric symptoms has been described.


For additional information please see our referral laboratory's user guide.


ICE reference: NMDA Receptor Antibodies


(Last updated May 29th 2018)