Background and aims To study the clinical characteristics and remission rate in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and to investigate potential factors affecting remission. These data may provide evidence for rational medication of SLE.
Methods Clinical remission was defined as follows: SLEDAI ≤4, with no SLEDAI activity in major organ systems (renal, central nervous system, cardiopulmonary, vasculitis, hemolytic anaemia, fever) and no gastrointestinal activity; Current prednisone (or equivalent) dose ≤7.5 mg daily; Well-tolerated standard maintenance doses of immunosuppressive drugs, hydroxychloroquine, and/or approved biologic agents. A cross-sectional survey was undertaken in 11 hospitals of China from October 2013 to April 2014. Clinical data of 485 consecutive SLE patients were collected.
Results 1. A total of 82 patients (17.5%) achieved clinical remission. Patients who received hydroxychloroquine or immunosuppressant therapy for more than 6 months yielded a higher remission rate of 24.0% (69/288). 2. The factors, including gender, age, marriage, education background, work environment, income and history of autoimmune diseases, had no significant correlations with the remission of SLE. 3. There are 51.3% of the patients with SLEDAI ≤4. And 59.8% patients complained of symptoms, the most often symptoms were alopecia, Raynaud’s phenomenon and arthritis. Anti-nuclear Antibody, anti-dsDNA, and hypocomplementaemia were common seen in SLE patients. 4.Most SLE patients received small doses of glucocorticoid. Hydroxychloroquine is a common choice in the SLE therapeutics in China.
Conclusions The clinical remission among SLE patients is infrequent. Half of the patients are in a stable state. In order to target remission, prevent damage and improve quality of life, treating-to-target-in-SLE should be recommended.
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