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PTD - 216

Test Directory - CSF Oligoclonal Bands



Clinical Indications

Demonstration of the presence of oligoclonal bands in the CSF is used in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other related conditions. 

Request Form 

Combined Pathology Blood form (Yellow/Black)


Analysed by the Neuroimmunology Department, National Hosptial, Queens Square, London if specific criteria met.

Specific Criteria

The following must be indicated on the request form:
 - Clinical indication for request - provisional or differential diagnosis.
 - Length of history
 - Myelogram etc. as available.

Patient Preperation

None required

Turnaround Time

2 weeks


For optimum analysis and interpretation it is essential that the CSF samples is accompanied by a serum sample taken the same day.


Minimum of 0.5 ml.


White Capped Universal for the CSF
Ensure blood is collected into a yellow top (SST) tube that has been taken the same day as the CSF

Causes for Rejection

Insufficient clinical information.


Oligoclonal bands will be found in over 90% of patients with clinically definitive MS, but may also be found in other inflammatory lesions affecting the CNS. Presence of identical oligoclonal bands in both CSF and serum suggests a systemic process such as Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Lab. Handling

Processing: Aliquot the serum and CSF and store at 4C in separating fridge (CB39).
: OLIG and send or NOOLI and save at -20C in separating freezer (CB40)


Version 1.0 / April 2014                                                                                                          Approved by: Consultant Biochemist