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Can anyone help me with an oligoclonal band question?
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Can anyone help me with an oligoclonal band question?

I stumbled upon this forum quite by accident and have been so amazed at how many of my questions have been answered since my "neurological event" as the neurologist called it, occurred almost 2 months ago.  I had a LP while in the hospital and the results have been pretty straight forward except the oligoclonal band OCB test result.  I have looked and looked on the web regarding OCB results, but couldn't find much information on how my results came back.  The test they performed to check for OCBs came back saying that 2 OCBs were found in the spinal fluid.  It also went on to say the there were also 2 faint bands in the serum.  After Googling what this could mean I came upon something called a "mirror-pattern" that seems to fit this finding.  Other than a one line description of a mirror-pattern, I couldn't find much else.  This has led to even more questions which I tried asking my neurologist.  I asked him what this result meant and he said it meant "negative".  When I tried to ask another question about whether it is "normal" for OCBs to show up in spinal fluid or even serum without any reason, he said "the test was negative, PERIOD!"  We are still looking at MS or considering conversion to MS because of MRI abnormalities, but I see that the OCBs is also important and want to be sure I understand what the significance is of having them show up in the spinal fluid as many people don't have them show up at all.  This is all still new for me and one thing I have learned over the past several weeks is that if I understand the test results at least a little, then I don't worry or get upset as easily.  Thanks so much.
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198419_tn?1360245956
Hi there!

Welcome.  I'm won't be around for the evening, but thought while you wait for others to chime in, thought I'd steer you to the top right corner of the site, where it says "health pages." I think you'd enjoy the write up on O-bands.........

Sorry to be so quick.  Thanks for joining us....look forward to hearing about what you've got going on and how it all came to pass...

be well,
Shelly
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147426_tn?1317269232
Hi, and a big welcome to the forum!  I just checked in on the forum, because mostly I'm taking today off, but I may be able to answer your question.

If there were 2 bands in the CSF and 2 bands in the serum, the question you need answers to is:  Were these the "same" bands.  That is, did they appear in exactly the same location on the blot?

If they were the same, then, yes, you have a situation of mirror-imaging and the result would indeed be negative.

However, if the 2 bands in the CSF were different from the two in the serum, then the result is "positive" with regard to MS.  It takes 2  or more "unique" bands in the CSF to be a positive test.

Have you read the Health Page (upper right hand corner under "Discussions") on "Can you Diagnose MS with a LP that is Negative for O-Bands?"  There is a discussion there about the different patterns that can appear on the LP and in the serum and what they mean.  I reference a site that shows a great picture of what the O-Band test looks like.  Just be aware that on the site they mix up two of the interpretations, so read mine instead.

If that doesn't answer your question let us know.

Also feel free to share your story.  There is a big difference between a Definite Diagnosis and Making the Decision to Treat.

Quix
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559187_tn?1330786456
Thank you for your incredibly quick response.  :)  A copy of the test result stated that there were 2 bands in the CSF and 2 in the serum = 0. Is there any particular reason that OCBs would show up at all or is this just a random coincidence?  I just can't wrap my brain around this techie laboratory science stuff.   Promise, no more questions tonight.  Instead I will go and check out the health topics that you mentioned.  Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction.  

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559187_tn?1330786456
The information from the Heath Topics section that you suggested looking into answered my questions beautifully.  You can not believe how hard I tried to find information on the web and just didn't get anywhere on this OCB result.  Thanks again so much.

Julie (Sarahsmom46)
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147426_tn?1317269232
I am so glad we had the info for you.  Now, I've been wondering since last night.  Did the lab report say anything about whether the 2 bands in the CSF were the same bands as were in the serum?  If yes, it is, indeed, a negative result.  If no, then the interpetation you got is wrong.

Really, you can't believe how pleased I am that we had the answer!  Thank you!

Quix
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333021_tn?1207763233
Hi Julie

I try not to get into the technical 'stuff '  :)      But I did want to say..    WELCOME !  

Its so good to you to drop in .  Won't you stay awhile ?  

I read your journal entry , that was some week . You have a very nice ex. and some great co workers .      Do you have any residual neuro effects , sx.s ?   What did your MRI report say , you mentioned abnormalities .

Stick around , there are many fantastic people here ,  at the moment the forum seems to be veerrryyy sloowww.


Hugs and prayers

Jo
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559187_tn?1330786456
Good question about the lab report...The report itself said only 2 bands in the csf and 2 bands in the serum.  Then it went on to say that 2 bands were found in the CSF and NOT in the serum.  Confusing ha?  When I originally asked the neuro about the results he said it was negative, period!  So, the answer to your question is I don't know for sure.  Maybe the lab made a mistake in the wording is all.  I have an appt with the neuro next Monday and maybe will bring in the result and ask him about it.   By the way...A few very nice ladies I've met on this forum suggested that I write up
a short detail of what happened with this sudden event and the subsequent hospital care including labs/radiology/tests that were conducted with results.  It took me a few hours to go through my copy of the reports as well as the physician progress notes and reports and put together, but it was very cathartic.  I posted it somewhere on the site.  I am still learning how to navigate around, so if you or anyone you know who might be interested in looking it over has time then any insight that might come up would be both interesting and helpful.  

Thanks again so very much!!!  

-Julie


To: Jlie
I am so glad we had the info for you.  Now, I've been wondering since last night.  Did the lab report say anything about whether the 2 bands in the CSF were the same bands as were in the serum?  If yes, it is, indeed, a negative result.  If no, then the interpetation you got is wrong.

Really, you can't believe how pleased I am that we had the answer!  Thank you!

Quix
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147426_tn?1317269232
If the report said that the 2 bands were found in the CSF and not in the serum that is a positive report by most neuro's standards.  I have heard of other labs and neuros stating you need more than 2 unique bands, but this is not the norm.

All in all it is very confusing.  I also saw the same report in your post lab.  They appear to be requiring 3 or more - not what I have been reading in the literature!!!  You have 2 unique bands.  This points strongly toward MS.  Your neuro seems to want more.  I can't see why.

I'll take a long look at your hospital results later.  It really IS a great idea to write the whole process up.  It can give you a much clearer view of what has happened to you and how your information can form a picture - even if you never have your doctor read it.  It gives you control over what you say to the neurologist.

Quix
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559187_tn?1330786456
You may be right about the neurologist wanting more.  An interesting note is that the morning the csf results came back the hospitalist internist came to my room and was straightforward in telling me that they saw 2 bands in the spinal fluid.  I asked him what this meant and he hedged just a bit but then said "looks like MS" but told me to discuss with neuro when he came in.  The neuro came a few hours later and only talked about about keeping me on the IV steroids and that I should be going to acute rehab that day and that was it.  I point blank asked him if this was MS (not mentioning what the internist told me) and he did this side stepping thing, literally, saying "well, um, mmmm, noooo".  A yes or no answer would have sufficed, don't you think.   So, he is thinking something but not telling.  I guess you guys have seen this scenario a thousand times.  Thanks.

Julie
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559187_tn?1330786456
Jo,

It is very nice to meet you.  Thanks for your kind message.  

I agree that the people I have met so far are very nice and this is hard to imagine when when the only way you can communicate is in writing.  I have not had the opportunity to join internet groups because to be honest I didn't know what type of group I would want or need to become part of until my recent illness.  I know that whatever I end up being diagnosed with, my life won't ever be the same.  But finding this group has given me hope.  Reading about the experiences you all have had makes me realize that I am not alone and that is a good feeling.  

I was in the hospital for 22 days exactly.  I can't even drive by the hospital now without closing my eyes.  The longest I've ever stayed in hospital was when I had my children which was a total of 2 days each time.  22 days was too much, but it did help me in getting back on my feet without seriously injuring myself from falling.  I do still have residual neuro symptoms.  My balance and coordination are getting better, but still I need a walker and wheelchair for distances.  I hope to get a cane if the neuro and rehab doctor I see next week agree on it.  

So, tell me, what has this experience been like for you?  I have sooo many questions, mainly about how to cope and what works best for pain and just general stuff.  I can imagine this group will be a wealth of information that could have taken me years to learn if I had to do it alone.  Thanks again for your post and I hope to hear from you again.

Julie
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