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Ann Neurol. 1983 Apr;13(4):434-9.

Oligoclonal IgG bands in cerebrospinal fluid in various neurological diseases.


We studied the frequency of oligoclonal immunoglobulin G bands in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with various neurological diseases. We used a micromethod employing sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis that required only 50 microliters of unconcentrated CSF. Oligoclonal bands were detected in the CSF of 95% of the patients with multiple sclerosis, 90% with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, and 100% with herpes simplex encephalitis, but less frequently in other central nervous system infections. No oligoclonal bands were detected in the CSF of patients with Parkinson, Huntington, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, or herniated disc diseases. Bands were detected in some patients with Alzheimer disease, cerebrovascular accident, idiopathic vertigo, idiopathic seizures, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, polyneuropathy, and central nervous system glioma. Patients with other conditions infrequently had positive bands. The determination of oligoclonal bands is a useful aid in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, and herpes simplex encephalitis. The presence of oligoclonal bands indicates an immunological response but is not diagnostic for a particular condition.

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