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Differences in management approaches for lupus nephritis within the UK.

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Edwards, Christopher J  ORCID logo
Ehrenstein, Michael R  ORCID logo
Griffiths, Bridget 


OBJECTIVES: Outcomes of therapy for LN are often suboptimal. Guidelines offer varied options for treatment of LN and treatment strategies may differ between clinicians and regions. We aimed to assess variations in the usual practice of UK physicians who treat LN. METHODS: We conducted an online survey of simulated LN cases for UK rheumatologists and nephrologists to identify treatment preferences for class IV and class V LN. RESULTS: Of 77 respondents, 48 (62.3%) were rheumatologists and 29 (37.7%) were nephrologists. A total of 37 (48.0%) reported having a joint clinic between nephrologists and rheumatologists, 54 (70.0%) reported having a multidisciplinary team meeting for LN and 26 (33.7%) reported having a specialized lupus nurse. Of the respondents, 58 (75%) reported arranging a renal biopsy before starting the treatment. A total of 20 (69%) of the nephrologists, but only 13 (27%) rheumatologists, reported having a formal departmental protocol for treating patients with LN (P < 0.001). The first-choice treatment of class IV LN in pre-menopausal patients was MMF [41 (53.2%)], followed by CYC [15 (19.6%)], rituximab [RTX; 12 (12.5%)] or a combination of immunosuppressive drugs [9 (11.7%)] with differences between nephrologists' and rheumatologists' choices (P = 0.026). For class V LN, MMF was the preferred initial treatment, irrespective of whether proteinuria was in the nephrotic range or not. RTX was the preferred second-line therapy for non-responders. CONCLUSION: There was variation in the use of protocols, specialist clinic service provision, biopsies and primary and secondary treatment choices for LN reported by nephrologists and rheumatologists in the UK.


Funder: Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research; DOI:


UK, lupus nephritis, refractory, treatment

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Rheumatol Adv Pract

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Oxford University Press (OUP)