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Old 01-07-2014, 12:38 PM   #1
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Increased lymphocytes in spinal tap?

I am new to these boards and to make a lonnnng story short (I will make another post at another time with my symptoms, etc.) have many health problems. I recently had a spinal tap done to help determine whether or not I have multiple sclerosis and I received a partial report today. I don't have my follow up with the doctor until January 16th but from the CSF results that are back I have a lymphocyte level in my spinal fluid of 100 with the normal range being from 40-80. The only other thing that's *off* is a low albumin in my csf of 10 with a normal range of 11-48. From what I've read online it seems that inflammatory processes as well as malignancies can cause this. I'm wondering if this ever happens in MS and if MS is considered an inflammatory disease? If anyone else can help me understand this a bit better until I see the doctor on the 16th I would GREATLY appreciate it!

 
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:33 PM   #2
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Re: Increased lymphocytes in spinal tap?

Hello mmk2014,

A Lumbar Puncture can be used in the diagnostic process for different conditions. It appears you only have a portion of the Lumbar Puncture results back. Your Physician is the best person to explain what your Lumbar Puncture results may mean

For MS Oligoclonal bands is what is looked for. Oligoclonal bands are proteins called immunoglobulins, which suggest inflammation of the central nervous system. The presence of oligoclonal bands may be a sign of multiple sclerosis.

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Old 01-07-2014, 01:36 PM   #3
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Re: Increased lymphocytes in spinal tap?

Thank you for the information! Hmmm, those have come back normal so far. Prior to this I had one doctor say she thought I had lupus and another thought I didn't have lupus....maybe I need to get a third opinion on that since I know lupus is an inflammatory disease. Thanks again!

 
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:35 PM   #4
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Re: Increased lymphocytes in spinal tap?

mmk2014,

Welcome.

A higher level of lymphocytes would indicate some kind of infection, but it would not be neurological. For 85% of MSers who have an LP will have O-bands in their CSF. 15% of MSers do not have O-bands. The LP is not a specific test for MS, but it can help identify known MS mimicries and help point the diagnosis in the right direction.

If MS is a possibility, other tests would need to be run. The only thing which would need to be looked into further is what is the cause of your higher level of lymphocytes. Your meeting on the 16th should help you arrive at the directions you need to go.

If MS is a possibility, you should be seen by an MS Specialist.
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:29 PM   #5
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Re: Increased lymphocytes in spinal tap?

Thanks!! I had no idea there was such thing as an MS specialist. I've been trying for going on 2 years now to get a diagnosis....I have an aunt who tested negative with MS for years but had symptoms and didn't test positive until she was in her 50's. I also have a cousin who was told she has lupus but never followed up on it. I will look into seeing an MS specialist as well as a lupus specialist (if that exists). Would I need a referral from a doctor or can I just make an appointment myself?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSJayhawk View Post
mmk2014,

Welcome.

A higher level of lymphocytes would indicate some kind of infection, but it would not be neurological. For 85% of MSers who have an LP will have O-bands in their CSF. 15% of MSers do not have O-bands. The LP is not a specific test for MS, but it can help identify known MS mimicries and help point the diagnosis in the right direction.

If MS is a possibility, other tests would need to be run. The only thing which would need to be looked into further is what is the cause of your higher level of lymphocytes. Your meeting on the 16th should help you arrive at the directions you need to go.

If MS is a possibility, you should be seen by an MS Specialist.

 
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:12 PM   #6
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Re: Increased lymphocytes in spinal tap?

mmk2014,

An MS Specialist is a neurologist whose specialty is MS. I would wait for your appointment on the 16th and than ask your doctor about MS and if the symptoms you have are neurological, then the MS Specialist is a good place to start. You might have another cause (there are 400+ MS mimicries), but the MS Specialist can refer you to another specialist based on a specific test.

There are no specific tests for MS and the only way to arrive at a diagnosis is to eliminate the known mimicries. Many of these mimicries can start to be eliminated with the blood tests. If you have had a CT with nothing which is seen to cause symptoms and your blood tests are clear, then you will probably be headed for a neurological cause. With your elevated lymphocytes, you should also check for things such as Lyme Disease which can mimic MS.

Even with familial MS cases, MS is not inherited and is most often found between blood siblings, BUT even siblings have a statistically insignificant chance of both developing MS.
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