The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from 115 consecutive patients undergoing diagnostic lumbar puncture or myelography was examined to determine the usefulness of immunofixation, following agarose gel electrophoresis, in the detection of oligoclonal IgG. All electrophoretic patterns were evaluated with and without immunofixation, and the interpretation of 9% of specimens was altered by immunofixation. The demonstration of oligoclonal IgG was shown to be more reliable in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis than other indices of intrathecal synthesis of IgG. It is concluded that immunofixation should be used routinely when examining CSF for oligoclonal banding.
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