Background and aims To explore the status of glucocorticoid application in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in China.
Methods The SLE patients who meet the 1997 classification criteria of American College of rheumatology were enrolled. Epidemiological survey was used. The usage of glucocorticoid and related adverse reactions were recorded and analysed.
Results The 400 cases with SLE were enrolled. In these patients, the male to female ratio was 1:19. The average age was 37.37±13.96 years old, the average duration was 6.7±5.8 years. Among them, 310 patients were in glucocorticoid maintenance stage. 61% of patients received the medium dosage (30–60 mg/d) as the initial treatment dosage of glucocorticoid. However, patients receiving different initial dosage had no discrepancy on glucocorticoid in the maintenance therapy. In the maintenance stage, 51% of patients received 2.5–5 mg/d prednisone, while the dosage of 5–10 mg/d could maintain for a longer time. Patients with internal organs involvement had a higher tendency to receive 60–100 mg/d or pulse-dose therapy in the initial treatment, nevertheless there had no difference on the dosage of glucocorticoid in the maintenance stage. Among the 400 patients, 62 patients had glucocorticoid withdrawal, including 17 patients due to disease remission (17/400, 4.25%), 44 patients due to self-withdrawal (44/400, 11%) and one patient due to adverse reaction (1/400, 0.25%).
Conclusions In China, the medium dosage of glucocorticoid is the most common choice in the initial treatment of SLE patients, and the dosage of 2.5–5 mg/d was most common in maintenance stage. Currently, the proportion of glucocorticoid withdrawal remains low after SLE patients achieving the remission.
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