International Task Force Reaches Consensus on Definition of Lupus Remission
For anyone living with or caring for someone with lupus (also known as systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE), remission is often the ultimate goal. Yet, a single, widely agreed-upon definition of lupus remission has been lacking. Now, researchers have issued a recommended definition to be shared by healthcare professionals, scientists and health educators.
The definition of remission includes three key criteria:
- SLEDAI of zero. An individual’s SLEDAI (SLE Disease Activity Index) is a measure of one’s lupus disease activity that’s calculated based on 24 different clinical and laboratory assessments across nine organ systems.
- Physician Global Assessment of less than 0.5, on a scale of 0 to 3. This assessment is more subjective and based on the clinician’s judgement of overall lupus activity.
- Prednisone Usage. Patients must take no more than 5mg of prednisone daily.
The above approaches have been extensively studied and validated as reliable measures of disease activity in lupus. Notably, the definition of remission does not include any time constraints (i.e., one does not need to sustain remission for a certain number of weeks, months or years to meet the criteria), nor does it require a person to be off of their medication.
“It was a great honor for me to work with so many patients and expert physicians on this. I believe that the definition we have arrived at will help physicians provide better care to patients with lupus, it will help us educate about lupus, and it will stimulate research that will lead to better treatments," says Dr. van Vollenhoven, lead study author.
This exciting step was led by a collection of international lupus experts known as the Definitions of Remission in SLE (DORIS) Task Force, and the new definition may soon be used as an aspirational goal in clinical care. The task force, made up of both lupus patient advocates as well as a variety of medical specialists, first gathered in 2015 to put forth a proposed framework for the definition. Since then, in-depth reviews of the existing research and data analyses have been performed to refine the proposed definition, and this year, the group voted on the elements of the final definition.
Learn more about lupus remission.
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