Pathology Handbook

Neuronal Nuclear Antibody – Anti Ma antibody

Clinical Indications

(specialist request only)

Limbic encephalitis Wide range of cerebellar symptoms (especially older patients)

Please note: Approximately 78% of patients with anti Ma2 antibodies have associated tumours of the testis and up to 40% of patients with cerebellar ataxia and lung tumours have this antibody. Anti Ma2 is more common in young patients while anti Ma1 and Ma3 are more common in older patients who tend to exhibit a wider range of cerebellar symptoms and tumours other than germ cell neoplasms.

Test Includes

Detection of autoantibodies against neuronal nuclei.

Request Form 

Request via ICE.


Assay performed as required.

Specific Criteria

It is essential to provide relevant clinical information.

Patient Preparation

No special preparation is required.

Turnaround Time

All samples are generally sent to referral laboratory within 3 working days of receipt in the laboratory. The assay is performed as required.


Serum in red top tube

Gold top (SST) tube will be accepted


7 ml


Vacutainer red top


Samples should be transported to the laboratory as soon as is practicably possible.

Lab Handling

Aliquot and store at 4-8°C prior to testing and at -20°C or below for up to 1 month after receipt.

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled/inadequately labelled sample

Inadequately completed request form

Delay in sample reaching laboratory.

Reference Range

Results are reported as a titre.

All positives will be confirmed.

Additional tests may be performed depending on patterns seen or clinical details. These may include anti Amphiphysin, anti CV2/CRMP5, anti PNMA2 (Ma2/Ta), anti Tr, anti Hu, anti Ri and anti Yo. Additional assays may be Immunofluorescence and/or Immunoblot assays.