impact factor



Assessment of glucocorticoid tapering in large vessel and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitides

1, 2, 3, 4


  1. Division of Rheumatology, Montreal General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
  2. Division of Rheumatology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
  3. Division of Rheumatology, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Canada.
  4. Division of Rheumatology, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Canada.

2021 Vol.39, N°2 ,Suppl.129
PI 0119, PF 0124

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PMID: 33338004 [PubMed]

Received: 03/08/2020
Accepted : 09/11/2020
In Press: 04/12/2020
Published: 19/05/2021


OBJECTIVES. Glucocorticoids (GC) remain integral to large vessel vasculitis (LVV) and ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) treatment. We aimed to assess real-world GC tapering trajectories among patients referred for LVV or AAV and identify factors associated with ‘delayed’ tapering.
Patients first assessed at a vasculitis clinic July 2017-August 2019 for LVV or AAV and taking GC were included. Delayed tapering was defined as prednisone >10 mg above target based on tapering recommendations (2010 British Society of Rheumatology Guidelines for Giant Cell Arteritis, 2015 CanVasc AAV Recommendations). We compared characteristics of patients with delayed and appropriate tapering and assessed barriers to timely tapering though chart reviews and referring physician surveys.
160 patients (65 LVV, 95 AAV) were taking GC at their first visit. Among the 42 (26%) patients with delayed tapering, mean daily prednisone dose was 39.2 mg (SD 14) compared to a target of 15.2 mg (SD 15). Pulse GC were administered to 19/42 (45%) patients with delayed tapering compared to 26/118 (22%) with appropriate tapering (p<0.05). Mean Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score at treatment onset and GC duration were not significantly different between the two groups. Vision loss and/or stroke was more frequent in LVV referrals who experienced delayed (9/21, 43%) vs. appropriate (6/44, 14%) tapering (p<0.05). Managing risk of vasculitis flare was the most common challenge to tapering GC among surveyed referring physicians.
In one quarter of patients referred for LVV or AAV taking GC, tapering was slower than recommended. Promoting timely tapering may reduce GC toxicity.

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