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Response to: ‘Efficacy and safety of tocilizumab in patients with refractory Takayasu arteritis’ by Lee and Song
  1. Yoshikazu Nakaoka
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yoshikazu Nakaoka, Department of Vascular Physiology, National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center Research Institute, Osaka 565-8565, Japan; ynakaoka{at}

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I thank Lee and Song1 for their thoughtful comments on our recent publication.2 The authors state that our study did not examine the steroid-sparing effect of tocilizumab because of mandatory glucocorticoid tapering. Given that the dose reduction rate of glucocorticoid significantly correlates with the relapse rate,3 this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was designed with mandatory glucocorticoid tapering to investigate whether tocilizumab treatment enables glucocorticoid tapering without relapse of Takayasu arteritis. Although the primary endpoint, …

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