Send to

Choose Destination
J Rheumatol. 2000 Jun;27(6):1421-8.

Do lupus disease activity measures detect clinically important change?

Author information

McGill University Health Center, Department of Medicine, Montreal General Hospital Research Institute, Quebec, Canada.



New scales for the clinical assessment of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are valid and reliable, and quantitate disease activity. We assessed the responsiveness to change of 2 widely used standardized multi-item lupus activity measures, the revised Systemic Lupus Activity Measure (SLAM-R) and the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI), and their ability to detect clinically relevant changes.


Ninety-six (96) patients with definite SLE participated in this study. The group mean age was 45.0 (13.7) years, 91% were female, and the mean disease duration was 14.9 (7.5) years. Sociodemographic information, lupus activity (SLAM-R, SLEDAI), and damage were recorded at baseline. At each of the 5 monthly followup visits, the activity measures were repeated and a transition scale asked the physician if their patient's lupus activity had changed. Five different methods were used to compare the responsiveness of the activity measures studied: 1. the effect size; 2. the standardized response mean; 3. the control standardized response mean; 4. the area under the curve of a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve; and 5. a new multiple response modeling approach.


Both SLAM-R and SLEDAI are responsive. SLAM-R is consistently, although moderately, more responsive than SLEDAI. All 5 methods of evaluating responsiveness yielded a consistent ranking of disease activity measures.


SLAM-R and SLEDAI are responsive measures of lupus activity. SLAM-R appears to be more responsive than SLEDAI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center