Different responses to treatment across classified diseases and severities in Japanese patients with microscopic polyangiitis and granulomatosis with polyangiitis: A nationwide prospective inception cohort study

The Research Committee on Intractable Vasculitides, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan

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Introduction: This study aims to elucidate the prognosis and the effectiveness of current treatments for Japanese patients with microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) and granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA). Methods: Patients with newly diagnosed MPA and GPA were enrolled in a nationwide, prospective, inception cohort study from 22 tertiary Japanese institutions, and treatment patterns and responses were evaluated for 24 months. Primary outcome measures were rates of remission (Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score, 0) and remission with low-dose glucocorticoids (GC) (prednisolone ≤ 10 mg) (GC remission). Results: Of 156 enrolled patients, 78 MPA patients and 33 GPA patients were included. Concomitant cyclophosphamide (CY) was used in 24 MPA (31 %) and 20 GPA (60 %) patients during the initial 3 weeks of treatment. After 6 months, remission was achieved in 66 MPA (85 %) and 29 GPA (87 %) patients, while GC remission was obtained in only 31 MPA (40 %) and 13 GPA (39 %) patients. During the 24-month period, 14 MPA patients and 2 GPA patients died; end stage renal disease (ESRD) was noted in 13 MPA patients but no GPA patients. Patients with severe disease, according to the European Vasculitis Study Group (EUVAS) classification, showed poorer ESRD-free and overall survival rates than those with generalized disease (p <0.0001). There were no differences in relapse-free survival rates between GPA and MPA, among EUVAS-defined disease severity categories, and between anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody subspecialties. Conclusions: The majority of Japanese patients with MPA and GPA received treatment with high-dose GC and limited CY use, and showed high remission and relapse-free survival rates but low GC remission rates in clinical practice. Trial registration: University Hospital Medical Information Network Clinical Trials Registry UMIN000001648. Registered 28 February 2009.

Original languageEnglish
Article number305
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2 2015



  • Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Glucocorticoid
  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis
  • Inception cohort
  • Microscopic polyangiitis
  • Prospective cohort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

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