Background Corticosteroids (CCS) are a cornerstone of current treatment regimens in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). However, increasing evidence points to their significant contribution to medium-to-long term organ damage.
Objectives To assess the clinical characteristics, treatment patterns and disease control among patients with SLE receiving steroid-containing standard care (SC) regimen in Germany (DE), France (FR) and Spain (SP).
Methods A multi-center medical chart review study of SLE patients (16-89 yrs) was conducted in August-September 2012 among rheumatologists and internal medicine physicians in hospital and private practices. Physicians were screened for practice length (3-35 yrs) and SLE patient volume (≥15 SLE patients/month) and recruited from a geographically representative sample in each country. Medical charts of eligible patients (approx. 5 per center/practice) with relapse-remitting or persistently active SLE and currently treated as part of usual care were randomly selected. Physicians abstracted de-identified data on diagnosis, disease manifestations & treatment patterns. Physicians reported whether patient’s SLE disease was under control with current treatment (yes/no; per physician-perception). We report data for patients treated with CCS-containing SC regimens.
Results Analysis included 339 eligible SLE patients (DE:118, FR:125, SP:96); mean age: 40.1yrs, female: 81%; Caucasian: 89%. The most frequent organ systems affected by SLE were: musculoskeletal (86%), mucocutaneous (82%), heamatologic (58%), renal (30%) and pulmonary (17%). Patient disease status/control and treatment patterns are shown in the table.
Conclusions SLE patients in diverse healthcare settings in 3 European countries had significant residual disease burden during treatment with CCS containing regimens. Majority of patients had moderate/severe disease, and less than one-third were reported to have disease not under control. Differences in CCS dosage appear to exist across the countries studied, with 33% - 58% of the patients on CCS>7.5mg/day despite multi-drug regimens.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared