Our objective was to update the EULAR recommendations for the management of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), based on emerging new evidence. We performed a systematic literature review (01/2007–12/2017), followed by modified Delphi method, to form questions, elicit expert opinions and reach consensus. Treatment in SLE aims at remission or low disease activity and prevention of flares. Hydroxychloroquine is recommended in all patients with lupus, at a dose not exceeding 5 mg/kg real body weight. During chronic maintenance treatment, glucocorticoids (GC) should be minimised to less than 7.5 mg/day (prednisone equivalent) and, when possible, withdrawn. Appropriate initiation of immunomodulatory agents (methotrexate, azathioprine, mycophenolate) can expedite the tapering/discontinuation of GC. In persistently active or flaring extrarenal disease, add-on belimumab should be considered; rituximab (RTX) may be considered in organ-threatening, refractory disease. Updated specific recommendations are also provided for cutaneous, neuropsychiatric, haematological and renal disease. Patients with SLE should be assessed for their antiphospholipid antibody status, infectious and cardiovascular diseases risk profile and preventative strategies be tailored accordingly. The updated recommendations provide physicians and patients with updated consensus guidance on the management of SLE, combining evidence-base and expert-opinion.
- systemic lupus erythematosus
- lupus nephritis
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GB and DTB contributed equally.
Handling editor David S Pisetsky
Contributors AF and MK performed the systematic literature review (SLR) and AF drafted the manuscript. GB supervised the methodology of the SLR and edited the manuscript. DTB convened and supervised the project and edited the manuscript. All authors edited the manuscript and accepted its final form.
Funding AF was supported by an Articulum Fellowship and a grant from the Hellenic Society of Rheumatology during the completion of this work.
Competing interests AF reports personal fees from GSK, Abbvie, Amgen, Enorasis and Genesis Pharma, outside the submitted work. MA reports fees from advisory boards from Novartis, Pfizer, Roche. IB reports personal fees from consultant for GSK, outside the submitted work. JNB reports grants from GSK, personal fees from GSK, personal fees from Abbvie, personal fees from UCB, personal fees from Enorasis, grants from Pfizer, outside the submitted work. RC reports personal fees from GSK, personal fees from Astra Zeneca, personal fees from Rubió, outside the submitted work. DJ reports personal fees from Astra-Zeneca, Aurinia, Boehringer-Ingeleheim, Celgene, BMS, Chemocentryx, grants and personal fees from GSK, from null, outside the submitted work. AK reports grants from Biogen, grants from Galderma, grants from GlaxoSmithKline, grants from Leo Pharma, personal fees from La Roche Posay, outside the submitted work. MM reports personal fees from GSK, Lilly and UCB. MS reports grants from GSK, UCB, Abbvie, outside the submitted work. JSS reports grants from AbbVie, Astra-Zeneca, Janssen, Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer and Roche, and personal fees from AbbVie, Amgen, Astra-Zeneca, Astro, BMS, Celgene, Celltrion, Chugai, Gilead, ILTOO, Janssen, Lilly, MSD, Novartis-Sandoz, Pfizer, Roche, Samsung, Sanofi and UCB, during the conduct of the study. AT reports personal fees from UCB, Pfizer, Abbvie, BMS, Sanofi, Roche, GSK, Alpha Sigma, Lilly, Jannsen, Cellgene and Novartis, outside the submitted work. RvV reports grants from BMS, GSK, Lilly, Pfizer, UCB Pharma, personal fees from AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Biotest, Celgene, GSK, Janssen, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, Servier, UCB, outside the submitted work. JW reports grants from GSK, grants from Incyte, personal fees from Biogen, personal fees from Leo, other from Novartis, during the conduct of the study. GB reports grants from GSK, Pfizer and personal fees from GSK, Abbvie, UCB and Enorasis, outside the submitted work. DTB reports unrestricted grant support/advisory board fees from Abbvie, BMS, Celgene, Enorasis, GSK, Pfizer, Novartis, UCB, Lilly, all deposited to the research account of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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