It is quite possible to have Lupus with a negative ANA. 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.
The ANA is used to screen for lupus, not to diagnose it. Other tests for antibody to double-stranded DNA, Sm (Smith), Ro/SSA (Sjogren's syndrome A), La/SSB (Sjogren's syndrome B), and RNP (ribonucleoprotein) are usually performed to determine whether lupus is or is not present. It is possible to have a negative ANA but a positive specific antibody test. A diagnosis of a positive test for a specific antibody is more important than is a negative ANA test. Thus an "ANA-negative" person with strongly positive antibody to Sm would unequivocally have lupus. Because of this possibility, doctors usually simultaneously run tests for ANA, anti-DNA, anti-Sm, anti-Ro/SSA, anti-La/SSB, and anti-RNP, as well as for other abnormalities relative to your specific condition. The doctor does not completely discard the diagnosis of Lupus if the ANA test is negative!
Peace and Blessings
Look For The Good and Praise It!