Laboratory: Clinical Immunology
Test Name:
Test Code: ENCC (During Registration enter specimen code 'SF')
Clinical Information:
Alternate Name(s): encephalitis, encephalopathy, N-methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Ab, NMDA/NMDA-R, AMPA Receptor Ab, AMPA/AMPA-R, Contactin-Associated, Protein 2 Ab, CASPR2, Dipeptidyl Aminopeptidase-like Protein 6 Ab, DPPX, Leucine-rich Glioma-inactivated Protein 1 Ab, LGI1, Voltage Gated, Potassium Channel Ab, VGKC, GABA Receptor Ab, GABA-A/GABA-B

Test Indications: Autoantibodies against neuronal surface antigens are found in patients with autoimmune encephalopathies. The antibodies are directed against glutamate receptors (type NMDA and type AMPA), GABAB receptors, voltage-gated potassium channels (VGKC) or VGKC-associated proteins (LGI1,CASPR2, TAG-1/contactin-2). Since these antigens play a direct or indirect role in synaptic signal transduction and plasticity, the associated autoimmunities manifest with seizures and neuropsychiatric symptoms. The resulting conditions include special forms of autoimmune limbic encephalitis, neuromyotonia or Morvan’s syndrome.

Restricted to Neurologists or via prior approval.
Complete the pre-approval form by clicking on the following link:

Collection Devices:
Preferred Device:
1 - Sterile Collection Cent Grad PS Tube (15mL)
Specimen Required:
Cerebrospinal Fluid: 1.0 mL

Refrigerated: 14 days
Frozen: 30 days
Cerebrospinal Fluid: 1.0 mL

Shipping & Storage: Ship refrigerated, or frozen if greater than 7 days from time of collection.

Testing Laboratory (MB): St. Boniface Hospital Immunology Laboratory
Reference Values:
Reference Intervals:
<1:1 Titre (Negative)
CSF samples for Encephalitis are screened undiluted (1:1 Titre)
A negative result does not necessarily exclude autoimmune disease.  Positive results should not be interpreted in isolation and must be correlated with relevant clinical findings. 

Method of Analysis:
The indirect immunofluorescence test (IIFT) utilizes transfected cells to detect antibodies against:
• Glutamate Receptor (type NMDA)
• Glutamate Receptor (type AMPA1/2)
• Contactin-Associated Protein 2 (CASPR2)
• Dipeptidyl Aminopeptidase-like Protein 6 (DPPX)
• Leucine-rich Glioma-inactivated Protein 1 (LGI1)
• GABAB Receptor (GABARB1/B2)
in patient samples.  Cells are incubated with patient sample. If the reaction is positive, specific antibodies of classes IgA, IgG, and IgM attach to the antigens. In a second step, the attached antibodies are stained with fluorescein-labelled anti-human IgG antibodies and made visible with a fluorescence microscope.  Testing supports the diagnosis of neurological diseases (encephalitis).

EUROIMMUN IIFT: Neurology Mosaics EUROPattern Instructions for the indirect immunofluorescence test FC_112d-1_A_UK_C07.doc Version 28/01/2019.
TAT: Within 5 days. Ordering Restricted to Neurologists or by prior approval.
See Also:
More Information:
Positive results will be accompanied by a titre.
A negative result does not exclude the presence of autoantibodies.  If clinical suspicion remains high, testing in serum should be considered.