You are correct, we are not doctors and cannot diagnose your mother for you. What I can tell you is that there is a condition known as "ANA- Negative Lupus". ANA-negative lupus is a condition in which a person’s ANA (or antinuclear antibody) test comes back negative, but the person exhibits traits consistent with someone diagnosed with lupus. The ANA test is used to screen for lupus, not to diagnose it. So, it's presence (or lack of) should not determine or negate a Lupus diagnosis.Typically, if a person tests positive for the antinuclear antibody, it means only that the person could have lupus. Further tests are needed to determine if a person actually has lupus. Those include tests for Sm (Smith), Ro/SSA (Sjogren's syndrome A), La/SSB (Sjogren's syndrome B), and RNP (ribonucleoprotein) antibodies.
In some instances, some patients exhibit traits/test results consistent with lupus, specifically these four, which unequivocally diagnose SLE:
- High titer anti-double stranded DNA antibody
- Anti-Sm (Smith) antibody
- Biopsy-proven kidney disease
- Biopsy-proven skin disease
Furthermore, antibody tests and symptoms go hand in hand. Antibodies alone do not diagnose the disease. If you have all four of the above referenced traits, you will, most likely, be diagnosed with SLE.
If not all four, than any diagnosis is presumptive. It is presumed the patient has lupus, even if the ANA test comes back negative.
The general consensus was, at first, that ANA-negative lupus is very rare. However, more and more cases of ANA-Negative Lupus have been diagnosed in patients. In some cases, ANA-Negative Lupus is a term given to patients with “lupus-like” disease. Some doctors might call it “mixed connective tissue disease,” “undifferentiated connective tissue disease,” or “forme fruste lupus” – or “hidden lupus”. Each has specific and separate meaning and describes different forms of illness.
If your mother has had the above four traits/tests and they were positive, then it is possible for her to have ANA-Negative Lupus.
I realize that I have not given you an answer, but I hope that this information has been a bit helpful.
Peace and Blessings
Look For The Good and Praise It!