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Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2019 Sep;26(5):387-392. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2019.08.010.

Lupus Nephritis: Duration of Therapy and Possibility of Withdrawal.

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Rheumatology Associates of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK.
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, OK. Electronic address:


Lupus nephritis is the most common organ-threatening manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus, affecting more than one-third of patients. Induction of remission and maintenance of relapse-free disease have been and continue to be a critical focus of investigation. Because the need for renal replacement therapy in those with an insufficient response to therapy is associated with significantly increased morbidity and mortality, providers and patients are willing to accept moderate to high levels of adverse events associated with treatment. Current standard-of-care regimens for induction and maintenance immunosuppression have led to resumption of adequate renal function and minimization of proteinuria for many patients. Current practice is to maintain maintenance immunosuppression indefinitely for fear of flare upon therapy withdrawal. For those with sustained quiescent disease after several years of maintenance therapy, the risk-to-benefit analysis for ongoing immunosuppression shifts toward an increasing consideration of the adverse effects of immunosuppressive agents. The time has come to begin to study, in a careful and controlled manner, the possibility of withdrawal of immunosuppressant therapy in patients with nephritis who have achieved sustained remission.


Flare; Immunosuppressive medications; Lupus nephritis; Remission; Withdrawal


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