I was diagnosed with MS in January of 2012 after the severe onset of double vision. I was hospitalized for 5 days as they ran tests, including blood work, an MRI, a spinal tap, ultrasound & more. After being released, I went to a neurologist who wanted to do some tests of his own before beginning treatment. He explained that there were O bands found in my spinal fluid and with MS, the band's are only present in the spinal fluid or the blood, not both. However, when the band's were also present in my blood, he said that sometimes it can cross over, leaving me completely bewildered. There were lesions present on my brain as well as my spinal cord as well. Since this time, no one has been able to tell me how this is possible. Can you please give me some insight or possibly where to start? Many thanks!
Oligoclonal bands in the CSF are a hallmark of multiple sclerosis, but are also seen with several inflammatory disorders that affect the nervous system. By definition an Oligoclonal band is an immunoglobulin of a particular specificity that is found in the spinal fluid but is not found in a matching blood sample. This means that the CSF immunoglobulin was made by a clone of plasma cells that resides in the cerebrospinal fluid circulation, but not in the blood circulation. Oligoclonal bands that are present in both the blood and spinal fluid are simply immunoglobulins that have passed from the circulation into the spinal fluid and are therefore not directly related to any ongoing inflammatory condition in the brain.
Revere (Rip) Kinkel MD
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
University of California San Diego