Immunoglobulin free light chains in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis

Batia Kaplan, Sizilia Golderman, Ben Ami Sela

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) is based on clinical criteria, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data and laboratory findings. The latter include information obtainable from analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) where demonstration of oligoclonal immunoglobulin G (IgG) bands (OCB) indicates an intrathecal production of IgGs and supports diagnosis of MS. One of the major disadvantages of this commonly used test is that OCBs might be detected in other inflammatory and infectious diseases of the central nervous system. Thus, search for novel technologies and new MS-specific markers is of diagnostic value.This review highlights the potential importance of Ig free light chains (FLCs) as novel diagnostic markers for MS. Different methods applied to analyze FLCs in the CSF of MS patients are described. These include immunochemical methods based on electrophoretic techniques, as well as radioimmunoassay and nephelometric immunoassay. Application of these methods brought valuable information with regard to the characteristic features of FLCs in MS: κ and λ level, their oligoclonality and monomer-dimer patterns. In this review, the advantages and disadvantages of the reported methods are discussed with respect to their specificity, sensitivity, complexity and availability. While none of the reported methods is perfect, many of them may complement each other by providing a more comprehensive characterization of FLCs in MS. Considering the heterogeneous nature of MS, such information may assist in further studies aimed to establish new laboratory markers for different forms and stages of this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultiple Sclerosis
Subtitle of host publicationCauses, Diagnosis and Management
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781613248485
StatePublished - 2012


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