C Gordon, D Jayne, C Pusey, D Adu, Z Amoura, M Aringer, J Ballerin, R Cervera, J Calvo-Alén, C Chizzolini, JM Dayer, A Doria, F Ferrario, J Floege, L Guillevin, M Haubitz, F Hiepe, F Houssiau, P Lesavre, L Lightstone, PL Meroni, O Meyer, B Moulin, KO’Reilly, M Praga, H Schulze-Koops, RA Sinico, KGC Smith, A Tincani, C Vasconcelos and G Hughes
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex, multisystem autoimmune disorder, which often involves referral to multiple medical specialists. Lupus nephritis (LN) occurs in ~35% of adults with SLE and predicts poor survival. There is currently no consensus on how to manage patients with SLE or LN across specialties and across different European countries. The Lupus Nephritis Terminology Advisory Group was formed to address this issue as it impacts upon LN treatment. It has developed consensus statements based on opinions from expert panel meetings with nephrologists, nephropathologists, rheumatologists, clinical immunologists and internal medicine specialists from many European countries, after reviewing current guidelines from the European League Against Rheumatism, the American College of Rheumatology and the participants’ experience. In this article, we report consensus statements that were developed in six important areas: classification of patients with LN, how classification affects the selection of treatment options and definitions of induction, response, flare and maintenance. We have also proposed a consensus for the terminology involved in the management of LN that is consistent with clinical opinion gathered from multidisciplinary expert meetings and with existing guidelines. We believe this consensus approach provides agreed expert opinion to clinicians and will form the basis for optimising LN treatment. Lupus (2009) 18, 257–263.
Key words: European consensus statement; lupus nephritis; terminology