High performance of cerebrospinal fluid immunoglobulin G analysis for diagnosis of multiple sclerosis

  • Simon GamraouiEmail author
  • Guillaume Mathey
  • Marc Debouverie
  • Catherine Malaplate
  • René Anxionnat
  • Francis Guillemin
  • Jonathan Epstein
Original Communication



The 2017 revision of the McDonald criteria highlights the usefulness of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) immunoglobulin G (IgG) analysis to diagnose multiple sclerosis (MS). The objective of this study was to assess the diagnostic performances of CSF IgG analysis in the absence of a gold standard.


All patients who underwent CSF IgG analysis for events suggestive of MS in Nancy University Hospital (France) from 2008 to 2011 were retrospectively included. A latent class analysis with Bayesian approach was used to infer MS prevalence (latent variable) as well as the diagnostic properties of the 2005 and 2010 McDonald criteria and CSF IgG analysis (observed variables).


Data from 673 patients were analysed. For CSF IgG analysis, the Bayesian latent class analysis estimated sensitivity of 0.93 (95% CrI 0.89–0.96) and specificity of 0.81 (95% CrI 0.77–0.85). The true prevalence estimate was 36% (95% CrI 0.33–0.40). Sensitivity and specificity estimates for patients with events suggestive of remitting-onset MS were similar to those for the whole sample—0.92 (95% CrI 0.85–0.96) and 0.80 (95% CrI 0.76–0.84), respectively—but higher for patients with signs of progressive-onset MS—0.95 (95% CrI 0.84–0.99) and 0.88 (95% CrI 0.78–0.94), respectively.


In the absence of a gold standard, latent class analysis indicates good diagnostic properties of CSF IgG analysis for MS. This test could thus be useful, especially for patients who tested negative for the 2005 and 2010 McDonald criteria. These findings deserve to be confirmed prospectively.


Multiple sclerosis Bayesian analysis Cerebrospinal fluid Diagnostic test assessment Latent class model 



Study Funded by the National Institutes for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and the Nancy university hospital (CHRU). The funding sources had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

The study was approved by the institutional review board and was performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Inserm CIC-EC 1433, Nancy University HospitalUniversité de LorraineNancyFrance
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyNancy University HospitalNancyFrance
  3. 3.Université de LorraineNancyFrance
  4. 4.Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and NutritionNancy University HospitalNancyFrance
  5. 5.Department of NeuroradiologyNancy University HospitalNancyFrance
  6. 6.CHRU de Nancy-Hôpitaux de BraboisNancyFrance

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