2 bands and none in serum

Hello all, I am new here. I have been seeing my neurologist for 13 years. I just had a lumbar puncture and I was able to see my results through my patient portal. Mind you I have yet to see my Dr about the results. The results show I have 2 bands and none in serum. I just wanted to know is this a confirmed MS diagnosis. The report read that this is in 95% of MS patients. I have always felt like I have had this since my early mid 20’s as I an mow 53. I have a few lesions but my Dr said they are not where you would see them in the brain. I have Menieres disease in my right ear andI have trigeminal neuralgia on the left side of my face but for the last 2 years I would have flare ups of numbness and tingling on my right side of my face, arm and legs. Last year it was so bad I felt it going right into my right eye I thought I was having a stroke. My Dr decided to do the LP because my 27 year old daughter was just diagnosed with MS herself. This was a complete surprise to us. She was having severe vertigo for a few days we went to the ER and surprise. Thoughts anyone please? Is the 2 bands for sure MS. It would be a relief to finally have a diagnosis instead of thinking I am crazy.

Thank You,


Hi Anita,

It is the right way around,

Spinal Tap

A spinal tap (also known as a lumbar puncture) is a procedure whereby a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is taken from close to the spinal cord. At the same time, a blood sample is taken usually from the arm and a quantity of blood serum is isolated. Both of these samples are then processed using a technique called electrophoresis. A positive spinal tap will produce oligoclonal bands in the CSF but not in the blood serum. These bands indicate a type of immune system activity. Although uncomfortable, the spinal tap itself is often not too painful, whereas in the period following the tap, the patient may experience dizziness, nausea, vomiting and severe headaches, occasionally for as much as a week. There are a few rare but serious side-effects of spinal taps. For more information about spinal taps and how to reduce the possibility of some of the more unpleasant side-effects follow this link: Spinal Tap.

95% of people with a definite diagnosis of MS exhibit oligoclonal bands on a spinal tap. This may sound impressive but so do 90% of people with Sub-Acute Sclerosing Panencephalitis and 100% of people with Herpes Simplex Encephalitis among other conditions. Positive spinal taps are indicative of an immunological response but they are not diagnostic for a particular condition. That 5% of PwMS do not exhibit oligoclonal banding means that spinal taps neither rule in nor rule out MS.

The primary purpose of CSF analysis should be to rule out other conditions than multiple sclerosis. Although they can be highly suggestive of MS, they do not, in themselves, provide a definitive diagnosis.

Before MRI, electrophoresis of spinal fluid played a major role in supporting diagnoses and underpinned the Poser criteria. Now, however, these criteria have become overshadowed by MRI and, if an MRI is positive, the new diagnostic criteria (2001)allow for a definitive diagnosis without laboratory support. The old “Laboratory supported Definite MS” has been dispensed with.

However, CSF analysis technology is still advancing and researchers continue to look for definitive molecular markers of MS. Should they find such a marker, spinal taps will reassume their importance. Other researchers are looking into urine and blood for markers and we can hope that they are successful and spinal taps become completely unnecessary to the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

I would suggest you purchase a copy of your MRI; legal under the freedom of information act cost about £10; then get a second opinion.


Thank you George, I have an appt with another neurologist for a second opinion.