, Volume 261, Issue 3, pp 554-560
Date: 22 Jan 2014

The presence of oligoclonal IgG bands in human CSF during the course of neurological diseases

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Abstract

The analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is an important tool for the diagnosis of neurological diseases. However, there is limited knowledge about the representativity of a single oligoclonal band (OCB) analysis for a neurological disease during its clinical course. In this study, we analyzed the presence of OCB in the CSF of patients who underwent lumbar puncture more than once. We retrospectively analyzed anonymized data from serial 17,002 CSF analyses done in the CSF laboratory of the Department of Neurology, University Hospital Zurich. We included cases with documented diagnosis in whom OCB were determined more than once. We included 144 patients. The median time span between the first and second OCB analysis was 274 days (range, 1–3,533 days). The result of the second OCB analysis was identical in 109 cases, and different in 35 (24 %). Twenty-five patients acquired and ten patients lost OCB over time. Three of 24 MS patients did not show OCB at the first CSF analysis, but in the second. In the entire group, newly occurring OCB were often associated with new symptoms or occurred after the acute phase of CNS infectious diseases, supposedly as a consequence of the immune reaction. A loss of OCB was often associated with remissions from diseases, e.g., during effective treatment. In patients with neurological diseases, both initially positive and negative OCB results may change over time, which often parallels the clinical condition. Such variability must be taken into account for the interpretation of OCB results.