Fast results for
definitive answers.

The importance of an
accurate diagnosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). Signs and symptoms of MS vary widely, depending on the amount of nerve damage and which nerves are affected. This makes it difficult to diagnose based on clinical symptoms alone. Multiple sclerosis is also commonly mistaken for other treatable autoimmune demyelinating diseases.

A new way to diagnose MS

Mayo Clinic Laboratories offers a profile that can assist in the diagnosis of MS by measuring kappa light chains in cerebral spinal fluid (KCSF) with a reflex, if positive, to oligoclonal banding

Rapid turnaround time


Using our reflexive approach, answers for three-fourths
of patients will be provided within the day that the test
is run. Additional results for oligoclonal banding will be
reported within three days.

An automated approach


Unique to Mayo Clinic, our profile is objective,
standardized, and not operator dependent, which
produces fast, error-free results.

Adheres to diagnostic criteria


Our test meets the widely used McDonald criteria for a
positive diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Our reflexive test
for oligoclonal banding utilizes two or more bands to
confirm a positive or borderline result of the KCSF test.

A reflexive testing approach

Based on internal studies using our patient population, KCSF will be negative 75% of the time, quickly ruling out demyelinating disease. If the results for KCSF are borderline or positive, which means between 0.06 and 0.1 or higher than 0.1 mg/dL, the test will reflex to oligoclonal banding and two results will be reported.

Based on our studies and the population we serve, we expect KCSF will be negative in 75% of the samples tested.

The profile should reflex in about 25% of cases, with both results provided to ordering physicians.

Which test should I order?

MSP3 | Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Profile, Serum and Spinal Fluid

When should this test be ordered?

KCSF laboratory testing is strongly recommended:

  • In cases where imaging findings are atypical.
  • In populations in which multiple sclerosis is less common, such as children, older individuals, or non-Caucasian populations.

The use of preclinical data such as those obtained with imaging studies and laboratory testing has allowed more sensitive and more specific diagnosis, which overall leads to earlier detection of the disease, when interventions and therapies can result in the most benefit to patients.


A Test in Focus

Maria Willrich, Ph.D., gives an overview of the new MSP3 test available through Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She discusses when this testing should be ordered, how this testing compares to previous testing approaches, and what clinical action can be taken due to the results of this testing.

Testing to distinguish MS from autoimmune demyelinating diseases

Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an inflammatory, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. NMO is characterized by severe relapsing attacks of optic neuritis and transverse myelitis. Unlike the attacks associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), NMO attacks commonly spare the brain in the early stages.

The spectrum of NMO was traditionally restricted to the optic nerves and the spinal cord. In 2004, Mayo Clinic scientist Vanda Lennon, M.D., Ph.D., reported an antibody that targets aquaporin-4 (AQP4), the water channel on astrocytes, and it is a sensitive and specific biomarker for NMO. Since that discovery, a much broader category called “NMO spectrum disorders” (NMOSD) has evolved.

Learn more about how to order these evaluations at your institution.