Cerebrospinal fluid oligoclonal bands in multiple sclerosis and clinically isolated syndromes: a meta-analysis of prevalence, prognosis and effect of latitude

This study from the UK looked at the prevalence of oligoclonal bands (OCBs)-in MS and clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), as well as the influence of OCBs on clinical outcomes, using a systematic review and meta-analysis. One prior study showed that OCB prevalence was associated with latitude, therefore this study group looked at the relationship between latitude and OCB prevalence using linear regression. 

The results demonstrated that 87.7% of 12,253 MS and 68.6% of 2,685 CIS patients were OCB positive. OCB-positive MS patients had an OR of 1.96 of reaching disability outcomes. OCB-positive patients had an OR of 9.88 of conversion to MS. Interestingly, latitude predicted OCB status in MS patients but not in CIS patients.

Therefore, this meta-analysis demonstrates that OCB positivity strongly predicts conversion from CIS to MS. They confirm the association between latitude and OCBs, which requires further investigation.

Authors: Dobson R, Ramagopalan S, Davis A
Source: J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2013 Feb 21. [Epub ahead of print] 

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