Dermatomyositis with Negative ANA ?

Does a negative ANA rule out Dermatomyositis? Even when the doctor thinks you have it?

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No - sorry but it doesn't. Some rheumys are really OCD about lab tests, but most will acknowledge that a negative ANA does not rule out any autoimmune illness. if you have symptoms for DM then its best that these are treated. The ANA was done in the first place because there was a high index of suspicion that you had a related illness. A positive result would have helped a firm diagnosis, but a negative result does not rule out the possibility of having the illness.

There are a whole range of tests that can be "seronegative" but yet people tested still have the symptoms of lupus. rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune illnesses. I wish I could tell you that you weren't ill. But you probably already know that you are.

Good luck with diagnosis and treatment, and let us all know how you get on

best wishesx

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Hi....

When I started two years ago with all the symptoms, first the rash, and then six months later the muscle weakness!!!! I had numerous test also and my ANA was also negative, but my CPK's were very high they reached 4000 and my doctor scheduled me for a muscle biopsy to confirm my diagnoses but that came back inconclusive which most of the time it does especially when the biIopsy is not done on the muscle that is inflamed!!!! I had then gone to a neurologist who specializes in this disorder . I had gone through all the test from the neurologist I had the EMG where they use the needles to see what muscle and nerves are damaged and that was confirmed for DM. I know and understand your frustration and I am sure you are nervous and scared!!! You will be fine once they start treating you for this autoimmune. Lisa/from NJ..... DM 6/09

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Hi ariadne and Lisa/fromNJ,
Thank you both so much for responding. It is my 13 1/2 yr. old son who is haaving the symptoms. Sometimes after he gets up off the couch he has terrible muscle pain around his waist and it takes awhile for it to go away, even with stretching. His skin issues were just the beginning and muscle symptoms came about 6 months later. Also, he has pain in his tendons in the back of his feet. The strangest part to me is his veins seem much more transparent and he bruises a lot easier. Is this common with DM do you think or is it just him? He is definitely going through a growth spurt! My prayers and thoughts are with you both in all that you are going through. Kelly

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Hi again,

The bruising is common with many autoimmune illnesses, and so is the Achilles tendon problems - I have rheumatoid arthritis , and I bruise easily because my immune system is attacking my platelets ( it's called thrombocytopenia). I also have inflamed tendons - in the Achilles (heels) and my wrists too. I don't know much about DM but it is likely that it shares common features with other autoimmune problems , and many of these illnesses overlap. I hope that your son has a diagnosis and effective treatment soon. He is so young, and Im so sorry he is poorly.

Achilles tendonitis can also happen with the HLA B27 gene marker. I have this, and it is associated with a kind of arthritis, more common in males. The doctors will test for this if they suspect that this is a possible reason for your sons' symptoms.

I wish you and your son good luck, and keep us informed about how you get on.

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hi i have had dermatomyositis for 7 years now (i am 18) i am no longer geting any treatment for it but still show the symptoms shortness for breath rash on knuckles, elbows and eyelids but i am not week any more i am doing fine i am loving life and keeping fit (doing Parkour and riding my bike) i achieved this by keeping fit and active i though to myself if i will be week and sore all my life i will make the most of it wile i can
good luck, wish you the best and god bless

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Thank you so much Ariadne and Speedymkflash,

He finally has an appt. with a rheumy on Sept. 7. Still such a long wait but I am happy he finally has one! Thanks so much for responses and good wishes. God bless you both. Kelly

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