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Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 Mar;76(3):562-565. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-210154. Epub 2016 Nov 24.

The effect of different durations of remission on damage accrual: results from a prospective monocentric cohort of Caucasian patients.

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Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.



To identify the shortest duration of remission associated with improved outcomes in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).


We studied 293 Caucasian patients with SLE during 7-year follow-up. Disease activity was assessed by SLE Disease Activity Index 2000 and damage by Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/American College of Rheumatology Damage Index (SDI). We defined three remission levels: complete, clinical off-corticosteroids, clinical on-corticosteroids (prednisone 1-5 mg/day). The effect of different durations of remission (1, 2, 3, 4 and ≥5 consecutive years) on damage was evaluated by multivariate logistic regression analysis.


Among patients achieving 1-year (27 patients), 2-year (47 patients), 3-year (45 patients), 4-year (26 patients) remission, damage was similar irrespective of the level of remission achieved, whereas, among patients achieving ≥5-year remission (113 patients), damage was higher in those in clinical remission on-corticosteroids (p<0.001).In multivariate analysis, ≥2 consecutive year remission was protective against damage (OR (95% CI)): 2 years 0.228 (0.061 to 0.850); 3 years 0.116 (0.031 to 0.436); 4 years 0.118 (0.027 to 0.519) and ≥5 years 0.044 (0.012 to 0.159). Predictors of damage were cumulative prednisone dose ≥180 mg/month (3.136 (1.276 to 7.707)), antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (5.517 (2.092 to 14.546)), vasculitis (3.107 (1.030 to 9.307)) and number of flare/year (8.769 (1.692 to 45.449)).


Two consecutive years is the shortest duration of remission associated with a decrease in damage progression in Caucasian patients with SLE.


Disease Activity; Outcomes research; Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

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