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Immunoglobulin abnormalities in cerebrospinal fluid and blood over the course of lymphocytic meningoradiculitis (Bannwarth’s syndrome).

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Abstract

The conditions of 5 patients with untreated lymphocytic meningoradiculitis (Bannwarth’s syndrome, probably equivalent to
Lyme disease) with serologically confirmed infection resulting from Borrelia spirochetes were followed with repetitive lumbar punctures up to 221 days after the onset of symptoms. Using a protein A plaque assay, high numbers of IgG-, IgM-, and IgA-producing cells were found in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), whereas there were mostly normal numbers of immunoglobulin-producing cells in peripheral blood. A markedly increased CSF IgM index and an elevated IgG index were observed in all patients during the early phase, reflecting production of these immunoglobulins within the central nervous system. All patients had oligoclonal IgG bands in the CSF that persisted during follow-up; in the 2 patients tested, the bands contained Borrelia antibodies. Most serum immunoglobulin concentrations were normal and in only 1 patient was it possible to detect in serum some of the oligoclonal IgG bands present in CSF. Declining numbers of CSF cells producing immunoglobulin and decreasing immunoglobulin index values were observed during follow-up, but 3 patients had an elevated CSF IgM index in the presence of normal IgG and IgA indices when examined during the later phases of
disease. An intense and prolonged IgM response within the central nervous system seems to be a characteristic of the
disease.

Ann Neurol. 1986 Sep;20(3):337-45. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t

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