Absence of cerebrospinal fluid oligoclonal bands is associated with delayed disability progression in relapsing-remitting MS patients treated with interferon-beta

J Neurol Sci. 2006 May 15;244(1-2):97-102. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2006.01.004. Epub 2006 Feb 13.


To assess the role of CSF oligoclonal bands (OB) in determining the clinical outcome in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) treated with IFN-beta, we carried out a retrospective, multicentre, observational study recruiting 209 RRMS patients from six MS centres from northern, central and southern areas of Italy under treatment with IFN-beta-1a i.m., IFN-beta-1a s.c. and IFN-beta-1b s.c. Twenty-two of 209 patients (10.6%) showed no OB in CSF. The patients without had, at disease onset, significantly higher frequency of visual disturbances (p=0.02) and less sensory involvement (p=0.04) than those with OB. A statistical trend (p=0.056) towards a longer time to reach sustained disability progression during treatment was found in patients without compared to those with OB. Thirty-six of 187 (19%) patients with OB worsened by at least 1 EDSS point compared to none of 22 (0%) OB-negative patients (p=0.017). The delaying of disability progression in OB-negative patients during treatment was significantly dependent only on the number of baseline MRI T2-weighted lesions (p=0.012) that was found to be significantly lower in OB-negative than in OB-positive patients (p=0.04). The absence of OB and low number of baseline T2-weighted lesions in this cohort of MS patients are favourable prognostic factors influencing the clinical response to IFN-beta treatment in RRMS patients.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autoantibodies / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects
  • Central Nervous System / pathology
  • Central Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / immunology*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-beta / therapeutic use*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / immunology
  • Oligoclonal Bands / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • Oligoclonal Bands
  • Interferon-beta