CSF oligoclonal banding

CSF Oligoclonal Banding

What is Oligoclonal Banding?

Oligoclonal banding (also called immunoelectrophoresis) is a test used to detect antibodies in the spinal fluid. These antibodies are found in certain autoimmune and neurological diseases. The test is performed by separating the antibodies in the spinal fluid by means of electrophoresis.


In order to perform the test, a spinal tap must be done to extract cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The CSF is then collected in a special tube and sent to the laboratory for analysis.


In the laboratory, the CSF is separated into two portions; one portion is used for immunoelectrophoresis, while the other is used for routine tests. The immunoelectrophoresis portion is placed onto an immunosorbent gel, and electric current is then used to separate the antibodies present in the sample.


There are two types of Oligoclonal banding tests. The first is called IgG-bearing Oligoclonal bands and is used to detect IgG-producing cells in the CSF. The second type is called IgM-bearing Oligoclonal bands and is used to detect IgM-producing cells in the CSF.


The risks associated with Oligoclonal banding are minimal. However, there is a slight risk of infection if the spinal tap is not done properly. Additionally, there is a risk of nerve damage if the needle is not inserted correctly.

Why and When?

Oligoclonal banding is performed to detect antibodies in the CSF, which can indicate neurological or autoimmune diseases. It can also be used to monitor the progression of a disease or as a means of determining treatment efficacy. It is recommended that people be tested for Oligoclonal banding at least once a year.


Oligoclonal banding is a useful tool for diagnosing and monitoring neurological and autoimmune diseases. Although it is a relatively safe procedure, it does carry a slight risk of infection and nerve damage. In order to get the most accurate results, it is recommended that Oligoclonal banding be performed at least once a year.