NMDA receptor antibodies

Referred to Immunology Department, Churchill Hospital, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LE

Alternative names, keywords

N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antibody, anti NMDAR

Samples required

Clotted blood (gold cap, 5 mL tube). Smaller tubes are available for paediatric samples.

Paired blood and CSF (in plain Universal container) may be sent if clinically appropriate.

Test indications


Test information

IgG NMDA antibodies detected by immunofluorescence using fixed cells.

Reference range

Results reported as negative, low positive, or positive, but titres can be requested if there is a clinical need to assess levels on follow up.

Disease associations: This assay is positive in many cases of autoimmune encephalitis with seizures, behavioural disturbance and movement disorders. There is no other “gold standard” for this newly-described condition, and therefore the sensitivity and specificity of the assay cannot be assessed. See Dalmau J et al Lancet Neurology 2011; Irani SR et al, Brain 2011

Turnaround time

Referral lab quotes turnaround time of 7 days, however additional time must be allowed for packing, dispatch and delivery of sample, and return and processing of results.


Immunology (Referrals)