The significance of oligoclonal bands in multiple sclerosis: relevance of demographic and clinical features, and immunogenetic backgrounds

J Neuroimmunol. 2009 Jul 25;212(1-2):121-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2009.04.014. Epub 2009 May 19.


There has been no data on oligoclonal IgG bands (OCBs) for Turkish MS population, who is believed to be placed between Western and Eastern world regarding the clinical and immunological features. In the present study, we examined the correlation between the frequency of OCB and clinical and demographical features of MS in Turkish MS population. Our objective was to determine whether, population with OCB-positive and OCB-negative MS constitutes distinct subpopulations in terms of clinical, demographic and genetic base. A total of 210 clinically definite MS patients were included in the study. Patients were assessed clinically at baseline, 1 month later, every 3 months, and at year 5. No CSF OCB could be detected in 30 (14.3%) cases. 141 of the 156 female patients (90.4%) and 39 of the 54 male patients (72.2%) were positive for OCB. The female to male ratio was higher in the OCB-positive than in the OCB-negative group (p=0.007). Clinical course and disability were similar in the two patient groups. But mean relapse severity was higher in patients without OCBs in CSF. EDSS values got worse in OCB-negative group in year 5 (p=0.008). EDSS was also significantly higher in OCB-negative group in year 5 (p=0.003). There was no statistically significant difference regarding the usage of disease modifying therapy between the two groups. HLA DR15 antigen frequency was statistically higher in the OCB-positive than in the OCB-negative patients (p=0.007) and control group (p=0.0002). In conclusion, our results suggested that, MS patients with CSF OCBs have a female predominance, better clinical course with less disability and better prognosis, are associated with HLA-DR15.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • HLA-DR Antigens / analysis
  • HLA-DR Serological Subtypes
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Multiple Sclerosis / genetics
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology*
  • Oligoclonal Bands / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Prognosis


  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • HLA-DR Serological Subtypes
  • HLA-DR15 antigen
  • Oligoclonal Bands