A young lady with ANA negative SLE and Secondary Anti Phospholipid Syndrome

Author(s): Richmond Ronald Gomes

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune, multisystemconnective tissue disease characterized by various autoantibodies to nuclear and cytoplasmic antigens and commonly affects the joints and a variety of organs due to an over activation of the body's immune system. There is wide heterogeneity in presentation of SLE patients, including lung, central nervous system, skin, kidney, and hematologic manifestations. The presence of Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA) in serum is generally considered a decisive diagnostic sign of SLE. However, a small subset of SLE patients who had the typical clinical features of SLE was reported to show persistently negative ANA tests. Our report describes a 24-yr-old female who presented with the clinical manifestations of SLE such as malar rash, photosensitivity, arthritis, oral ulcer and proteinuria. The serum autoantibodies were all negative except anti ribosomal P. She was also positive for lupus anti-coagulant. She was treated with oral prednisolone, hydroxychloroquine with topical tacrolimus and improved significantly. Three months after, repeat ANA and anti-ds DNA showed persistent negativity but lupus anti-coagulant remained positive. This case suggests that ANA may not be required in the pathogenesis of SLE.