Intrathecal oligoclonal IgG synthesis in multiple sclerosis

J Neuroimmunol. 2013 Sep 15;262(1-2):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2013.06.014. Epub 2013 Jul 26.


The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is based on dissemination in time and space. Before 2010 lack of evidence for dissemination in space could be substituted by a paraclinical test, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) oligoclonal bands (OCBs). The present meta-analysis (13,467 patients) shows that the diagnostic specificity of OCB drops from 94% to 61% if inflammatory etiologies are considered. Importantly, this was not caused by poor laboratory practice. This review on CSF OCB further illustrates the conceptional problem of substituting dissemination in space with a biomarker. The potential prognostic value of intrathecal OCB will need to be tested prospectively.

Keywords: Cerebrospinal fluid; Diagnostic criteria; Multiple sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / metabolism
  • Oligoclonal Bands / biosynthesis*
  • Oligoclonal Bands / cerebrospinal fluid*


  • Biomarkers
  • Oligoclonal Bands