T. Pincus, A. Kavanaugh, D. Aletaha, J. Smolen
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA
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ABSTRACT:The rheumatology community has devoted increasing attention to the subject of remission over the past 2 decades, on the basis of greater appreciation of the long-term severity of inflammatory rheumatic diseases and availability of new therapies and approaches to improve outcomes. Nonetheless, description of remission in rheumatic diseases is complex, compared to many nonrheumatic diseases. Recognition of remission requires a set of measures or an index rather than a single “gold standard.” Spontaneous remission is not infrequent in people with early inflammatory arthritis, including some who may meet criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) over less than a few months, and may be confused with a drug-induced remission. Remission may be transient in many patients over short periods, and the length of time required to maintain remission status varies in different reports. Maintenance of a state of remission in autoimmune diseases that result from dysregulatory processes, rather than invasion of foreign cells or toxins, generally requires ongoing therapy indefinitely. Patients who have organ damage or functional disability may be described as “in remission,” although they are free of disease activity only, but not necessarily free of disease consequences. A status of “low disease activity” or “near remission” with 70% to 90% of the features of an ideal remission may be adequate for many people with rheumatic diseases to avoid risks that may be required to reach 100% remission status. Thus, the subject of remission remains under active discussion in the rheumatology community.
PMID: 17083755 [PubMed]