Long term azathioprine maintenance therapy in ANCA-associated vasculitis: Combined results of long-term follow-up data

Anoek A E de Joode, Jan Stephan F. Sanders, Xavier Puéchal, Loic P Guillevin, Thomas F Hiemstra, Oliver Flossmann, Nils Rasmussen, Kerstin Westman, David R Jayne, Coen A Stegeman

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

34 Citaten (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: We studied whether in ANCA-associated vasculitis patients, duration of AZA maintenance influenced relapse rate during long-term follow-up.

Methods: Three hundred and eighty newly diagnosed ANCA-associated vasculitis patients from six European multicentre studies treated with AZA maintenance were included; 58% were male, median age at diagnosis 59.4 years (interquartile range: 48.3-68.2 years); granulomatosis with polyangiitis, n = 236; microscopic polyangiitis, n = 132; or renal limited vasculitis, n = 12. Patients were grouped according to the duration of AZA maintenance after remission induction: ⩽18 months, ⩽24 months, ⩽36 months, ⩽48 months or > 48 months. Primary outcome was relapse-free survival at 60 months.

Results: During follow-up, 84 first relapses occurred during AZA-maintenance therapy (1 relapse per 117 patient months) and 71 after withdrawal of AZA (1 relapse/113 months). During the first 12 months after withdrawal, 20 relapses occurred (1 relapse/119 months) and 29 relapses >12 months after withdrawal (1 relapse/186 months). Relapse-free survival at 60 months was 65.3% for patients receiving AZA maintenance >18 months after diagnosis vs 55% for those who discontinued maintenance ⩽18 months (P = 0.11). Relapse-free survival was associated with induction therapy (i.v. vs oral) and ANCA specificity (PR3-ANCA vs MPO-ANCA/negative).

Conclusion: Post hoc analysis of combined trial data suggest that stopping AZA maintenance therapy does not lead to a significant increase in relapse rate and AZA maintenance for more than 18 months after diagnosis does not significantly influence relapse-free survival. ANCA specificity has more effect on relapse-free survival than duration of maintenance therapy and should be used to tailor therapy individually.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1894-1901
Aantal pagina's8
Nummer van het tijdschrift11
StatusPublished - 1-nov.-2017

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