Oligoclonal band number as a marker for prognosis in multiple sclerosis

Arch Neurol. 2001 Dec;58(12):2044-5. doi: 10.1001/archneur.58.12.2044.


The natural course of disease in multiple sclerosis varies. Multiple sclerosis that is clinically apparent but causes minimal disability over time has been labeled benign multiple sclerosis. The ability to predict the subsequent clinical course of multiple sclerosis on the basis of clinical and other supportive data at presentation would be invaluable. In this article we report our findings based on a retrospective analysis of 1800 patients diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis, of which 44 patients met our inclusion criteria. There was a suggestion that a low or absent number of oligoclonal bands in the cerebrospinal fluid at the time of diagnosis predicts a better prognosis. However, quantification of oligoclonal bands in cerebrospinal fluid remains an insensitive prognostic indicator and must not be used to influence decisions regarding therapeutic options.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disease Progression
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Genetic Markers
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / genetics*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Genetic Markers