Imperial Collage Healthcare

Oligoclonal Studies

Test Background
Oligoclonal banding analysis is used to aid diagnosis of several neurological disorders, principally that of the demyelinating diseases multiple sclerosis (MS) and Guillain-Barré syndrome. The presence of two or more IgG bands in CSF that are not present in serum constitutes a positive test. Typically about 90 % of MS patients show oligoclonal banding in their CSF.

Clinical Indications
Oligoclonal banding is associated with MS, Guillain-Barré, SLE, SAH, neurosarcoidosis, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, CNS lymphoma and syphilis.

Reference Range
CSF IgG: <40 mg/L CSF albumin: <320 mg/L CSF:IgG/alb: <0.25 CSF/serum (IgG/albumin): <0.85 Qualitative isoelectric focusing for oligoclonal IgG

Sample Required
CSF (plain universal) and SST (gold top) or serum (red top)

Sample Collection

Freshly collected CSF with a concomitant serum (preferably collected on the same day or within 48hrs with a maximum of ±5days).


Sample Volume
0.5mL of each CSF and serum

Turnaround Time
2 weeks


Please note that a full interpretation may not be possible where CSF samples are received with no concomitant serum. In addition, when CSF and serum samples are not received together (i.e. in the same sample bag), there may be a delay in analysis.

Blood contaminated CSF is unsuitable.

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