What is an Oligoclonal Band test?

Oligoclonal Band Test is intended for identifying oligoclonal banding in paired serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) using isoelectric focusing and immunoblotting. IgG profiles in serum and CSF are visually compared allowing the identification of oligoclonal bands originating from the intrathecal synthesis of immunoglobulins. Oligoclonal Bands are multiple IgG immunoglobulin bands in the CSF, not present in the serum, produced by a small number of immunocompetent B cell clones, each producing a different clone of IgG.



Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system that is a leading cause of disability in young adults. This can cause permanent damage to the peripheral and central nervous systems.

The test result is abnormal when oligoclonal bands are discovered in your cerebrospinal fluid and absent in your bloodstream. More than 90% of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients show oligoclonal IgG bands in CSF. However, they may also be found in Guillain-Barré syndrome, CNS infections (including neurosyphilis and HIV infection), after cerebrovascular accidents and in other CNS disorders.

Normal results are reported when no oligoclonal bands are found in your CSF.

If your physician suspects inflammation in your central nervous system, they will order a CSF oligoclonal band test.

3-5 CC Serum and CSF from the same patient must be collected at the same time and transported immediately to the laboratory.

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