ANA Negative Lupus

Question

I have had off and on periods of extreme hair loss, joint and muscle pain, fatigue and a skin rash for the past year. My PHP ran some tests thinking lupus, but the ANA came back negative. My sed rate was 32. My RF was also negative. She wants me to see a specialist, but said it is probably not lupus. Can you have a negative ANA and then it turn positive? Is the sed rate indicating something to worry about?

Answer

ANA negative lupus is very rare.  There is variability in how the test is run in different labs that may result in negative values becoming postiive.  The sed rate of 32 is only mildly elevated and thus would be considered non-specific.

Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

About Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

Part-time Faculty, Division of Rheumatology
Johns Hopkins University