Oligoclonal bands


Does anyone know if the positive oligoclonal bands that indicate MS in a lumbar puncture are present in any other conditions? Currently being investigated for Chronic Lyme Disease and just wondering if these bands are solely a feature of MS?

Thanks in advance for any feedback.



As I understand it, it is not unusual to have some. The significance is if there is a discrepancy between the number in the CSF and the number from blood.

If the two results are identical, it indicates you are unlikely to have any inflammatory disease specific to the central nervous system (of which the most common would be MS), and may not have any disease at all.

But if there is more banding in the CSF test than in the blood test, it would indicate there is an inflammatory process going on in the CNS that is not true of the body in general.

So the result is pretty meaningless unless they have compared the two tests side-by-side. As long as they match, it is probably not significant.



Makes sense I did wonder why they needed my blood too hehe x

1 Like

Thats why my LP gave me a negative for MS even though i had all the O Bands beause of blood results. It was agreed i had two things going on in the end, and one was CNS inflammatory. It did turn out in the end after paying for tests I had a coinfection of Lymes called Erichilosis, and had also met Lymes at some point…

Actually the blood test at time of LP hurt more then the LP did lol. I did however have lesions on my spine and positive VEPS.

My neuro actually told me he didnt like doing LP as they usually ended up muddying the waters…they are used more to exclude other diseases rather then to include MS.

Why the Test is Performed

This test helps support the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, it does not confirm the diagnosis. Oligoclonal bands in the CSF can also be seen in other illnesses.

Like mine all my other tests came back positive MRI and VEP but they don’t like to diagnose off just those so they have a LP too but all 3 tests were positive for me they look for inflammation and I knew I had it before tests as I’ve inflammation at back of my eyes a year before diagnoses.

I have had 2 LP’s and both showed the increased O. Bands. I have Lesions in the Parietal and Frontal Lobes as well as in my Periventricular (neck and back were never checked). Evoked Potentials were normal though.

I know it’s Wikipedia but have just found this:

Oligoclonal bands are also found in:

Multiple sclerosis

Lyme Disease

Neuromyelitis optica (Devic’s disease)

Systemic lupus erythematosus


Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis

Subarachnoid hemorrhage


Primary central nervous system lymphoma

Sjögren’s Syndrome

Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Multiple Myeloma

So definitely not just MS. Thanks for your replies. :relaxed: