What is the role of LP in the workup of multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Updated: Oct 08, 2019
  • Author: Christopher Luzzio, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Lumbar puncture with CSF analysis is no longer routine in the investigation of MS, but this test may be of use when MRI is unavailable or MRI findings are nondiagnostic. CSF is evaluated for oligoclonal bands (OCBs) and intrathecal immunoglobulin G (IgG) production, as well as for signs of infection.

OCBs are found in 90–95% of patients with MS, and intrathecal IgG production is found in 70–90% of patients. Although these findings are not specific for MS, CSF analysis is the only direct test capable of proving that the patient has a chronic inflammatory CNS condition.


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