Oligoclonal bands (OCBs) are abnormal proteins that are found in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). OCBs can also be found in the serum of patients with MS and other neurological diseases. But what conditions show oligoclonal bands in serum?
What are Oligoclonal Bands?
OCBs are a group of identical antibodies that are produced by a single clone of B-cells. They are detected by electrophoresis, a laboratory technique that separates proteins based on their electrical charge and size. OCBs are found in the CSF of over 90% of patients with MS, but they can also be present in the serum of patients with MS and other neurological diseases.
Conditions that Show Oligoclonal Bands in Serum
Apart from MS, other neurological diseases can also show OCBs in serum. These include:
1. Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD)
NMOSD is a rare autoimmune disease that affects the optic nerve and spinal cord. It is characterized by recurrent attacks of inflammation and demyelination in these areas. OCBs can be detected in the serum of up to 70% of patients with NMOSD.
2. Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)
CIDP is a rare neurological disorder that causes progressive weakness and sensory loss in the arms and legs. It is caused by inflammation and damage to the myelin sheath that covers the nerves. OCBs can be found in the serum of up to 30% of patients with CIDP.
3. Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)
GBS is a rare autoimmune disease that affects the peripheral nerves. It is characterized by rapid onset of muscle weakness and loss of reflexes. OCBs can be detected in the serum of up to 50% of patients with GBS.
4. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
SLE is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects multiple organs and tissues. It is characterized by the presence of autoantibodies that attack the body’s own cells and tissues. OCBs can be found in the serum of up to 25% of patients with SLE.
In conclusion, OCBs are not specific to MS and can be found in the serum of patients with other neurological diseases, such as NMOSD, CIDP, GBS, and SLE. Therefore, the presence of OCBs in serum alone is not enough to diagnose MS and other neurological diseases, and further clinical and laboratory investigations are required.