SSPGA and LFA-REAL: New Lupus Measurement Tools Easy to Use and Effective for Clinical Trials
A recent study confirmed that two tools designed to assess lupus disease activity, the SELENA SLEDAI Physician’s Global Assessment (SSPGA) and the Lupus Foundation of America-Rapid Evaluation of Activity in Lupus (LFA-REAL) provide reliable ways to measure worsening or improving lupus. The findings demonstrate that both instruments can be effectively used in clinical trials to measure how people respond to experimental treatments and provide data to show whether a trial drug has achieved its desired outcomes.
In a study of 50 people with lupus who were evaluated at 528 consecutive visits, researchers compared assessment results from SSPGA and LFA-REAL against each other and against multiple pre-existing assessment tools. Demonstrating their reliability, the results showed that SSPGA and LFA-REAL correlated with each other as well as the other instruments at all visits, with LFA-REAL performing marginally better than SSPGA.
Today, the most widely used disease activity measures in international, multi-center trials are the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) and the British Isles Lupus Assessment Group Index (BILAG 2004). However, both indices have certain drawbacks undermining their accuracy and usefulness.
The SSPGA and LFA-REAL attempt to improve upon current measures using visual analogue scales, which measure characteristics and symptoms along a continuum and may offer more accurate assessments of clinically observed changes from one person to the next. While the two instruments take similar approaches, the LFA-REAL modifies and builds upon the SSPGA by providing subscales for individual symptoms, allowing the separate scoring of distinct symptoms within the same organ, and scoring additional less common lupus symptoms.
Accurately measuring lupus disease activity and how it changes over time has proven to be a challenge, and more finely-tuned and comprehensive assessment tools are essential to improve patient care and develop effective treatments for the disease. The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA)-REAL system aims to address this need. Learn more about the LFA-Real system to improve health and quality of life.