Evidence of Oligoclonal Bands Does Not Exclude Non-Inflammatory Neurological Diseases.
Cerebrospinal fluid analysis is an essential part of the diagnostic workup in various neurological disorders. Evidence of an intrathecal immunoglobulin synthesis, as demonstrated by Reiber's diagram or the more sensitive oligoclonal bands (OCB), are typical for neuroinflammatory diseases, and normally not expected in non-inflammatory neurological diseases. Therefore, patients with non-inflammatory neurological diseases are often used in control groups in studies investigating autoimmune diseases of the central nervous system. However, data about the frequency of intrathecal immunoglobulin synthesis in non-inflammatory neurological disease are scarce. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) records of a total of 3622 patients were screened and 2114 patients included with presumably non-inflammatory neurological diseases like dementia, idiopathic peripheral neuropathy, motoneuron disease, stroke, and epileptic seizures. Evidence of an intrathecal immunoglobulin synthesis can be found with low frequency also in non-inflammatory neurological diseases. A much higher rate of patients showed intrathecal immunoglobulin synthesis as demonstrated by OCB than by Reiber's diagram. In patients with disorders of the peripheral nervous system the frequency of OCB was much lower than in patients presenting with central nervous system manifestations. Evidence of an intrathecal immunoglobulin synthesis should not automatically lead to exclusion of non-inflammatory neurological diseases but should rather prompt the way to investigate for the origin of the intrathecal immunoglobulin synthesis.