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Cumulative pulse methylprednisolone and its relation to disease activity, damage and mortality in systemic lupus erythematosus patients: A post hoc analysis of COMOSLE-EGYPT study

Clin Rheumatol. 2024 Jan 10. doi: 10.1007/s10067-023-06858-4. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relation between cumulative intravenous methylprednisolone dose and disease activity, damage, and mortality among a group of Egyptian SLE patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: This is a post hoc analysis of a retrospective multicenter COMOSLE study. Cumulative pulse methylprednisolone dose was abstracted from COMOSLE database. Patients with cumulative pulse dose of ≤ 3.0 g (median dose) were compared to those with cumulative dose of > 3.0 g regarding demographic data, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) and The Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/ACR Damage Index (SLICC) score as well as treatment received. Additionally, at 1.5, 3, 6, and 9 g of cumulative methylprednisolone, patients were compared regarding SLICC score and risk of mortality.

RESULTS: Patients who received > 3 g of methylprednisolone were statistically significantly younger at disease onset, had longer disease duration, higher SLEDAI score at last visit, and higher SLICC score (p = 003, p = 0.002, p = 0.004 and p = < 0.001, respectively). Additionally, with every gram increase in the cumulative methylprednisolone, there was a significant increase in SLICC score by 0.169 (B = 0.169, CI = 0.122-0.216, p-value = < 0.001) and an increased risk of mortality by 13.5% (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.135, CI = 1.091-1.180, p-value = 0.001). The best cutoff value of methylprednisolone dose at which damage may occur, ranged between 2.75 (with sensitivity of 81.4% and specificity of 33.9%) and 3.25 g (with sensitivity of 48.3% and specificity of 71.5%).

CONCLUSION: With every gram increase in the cumulative methylprednisolone, there may be increase in damage and mortality, especially in doses exceeding the range of 2.75-3.25 g. Key Points • Treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus should be with the least possible dose of steroids to decrease the risk of damage and mortality. • With every gram increase in the cumulative intravenous methylprednisolone there may be increase in damage and mortality.

PMID:38198114 | DOI:10.1007/s10067-023-06858-4

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