What Is ANA-Negative Lupus?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

I have had 90% of the symptoms that go along with lupus. Please let me know when someone is ANA negative, but still has lupus. My ANA tests were 1:40 and 1:60.  I've been tested for a few antibodies, and so far nothing shows positive. How can someone have lupus and be negative ANA?

Doctor's response

When a person satisfies the criteria for systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), but has a negative ANA, the condition is referred to as ANA-negative systemic lupus erythematosus. ANAs are negative in approximately 5% of patients with lupus. In these patients, frequently there are other antibody markers of lupus present, such as cardiolipin antibody, anti-smith antibody, DNA antibodies, and SS-A and SS-B antibodies.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018
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