Multiple Sclerosis profile updates

Answers from the Lab

Immunoglobulin kappa free light chain testing is an alternative, cutting-edge approach available at Mayo Clinic Laboratories to evaluate for multiple sclerosis. In this test specific episode of the "Answers From the Lab" podcast, Maria Alice Willrich, Ph.D., explains how this first-line laboratory test, recently validated by Mayo Clinic researchers, can be used in conjunction with clinical and imaging studies to diagnose the challenging, neurodegenerative illness.

“I believe in this approach because it provides an objective, quantitative test result,” Dr. Willrich says. “And I strongly think that it translates in a significant quality improvement over manual testing in the lab. The value of better testing is translated into better answers from the lab to providers and to patients, and to all clients of the laboratory.”

Not only is the automated assay faster and cheaper than traditional oligoclonal banding testing, explains Dr. Willrich, but kappa free light chain testing provides increased sensitivity for clear results that set patients on the correct diagnostic pathway. Listen to learn more.

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Useful information

  • Diagnosing multiple sclerosis, especially helpful in patients with equivocal clinical or radiological findings.

Specimen requirements

Both serum and spinal fluid are required. Spinal fluid must be obtained within 1 week of serum collection.

Specimen Type: Spinal fluid

Specimen Volume: 1 mL

Container/Tube: Sterile vial

Collection Instructions: Label specimen as spinal fluid.

Specimen Type: Serum

Preferred: Serum gel

Acceptable: Red top

Specimen Volume: 1 mL

Collection Instructions: 

  • Centrifuge and aliquot serum within 2 hours of collection.
  • Label specimen as serum.

Performance information

Analytic time: 3 to 5 days

Days performed: Monday through Friday

The latest

Barbara J. Toman

Barbara J. Toman is a Senior Communications Specialist at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She is also the science writer for Mayo’s Neurosciences Update newsletter, which helps referring physicians to stay informed about Mayo’s treatment and research. Barbara has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2007. She enjoys international travel and cooking.