Objectives: To examine SLEDAI-2000 cut-off scores for definition of active SLE and to determine the sensitivity to change of SLEDAI-2000 for the assessment of SLE disease activity and minimal clinically meaningful changes in score.
Methods: Data from two multi-centre studies were used in the analysis: in a cross-sectional and a longitudinal fashion. At every assessment, data were collected on SLEDAI-2000 and treatment. The cross-sectional analysis with receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves was used to examine the appropriate SLEDAI-2000 score to define active disease and increase in therapy was the reference standard. In the longitudinal analysis, sensitivity to change of SLEDAI-2000 was assessed with multinomial logistic regression. ROC curves analysis was used to examine possible cut-points in score changes associated with change in therapy, and mean changes were estimated.
Results: In the cross-sectional analysis, the most appropriate cut-off scores for active disease were 3 or 4. In the longitudinal analysis, the best model for predicting treatment increase was with the change in SLEDAI-2000 score and the score from the previous visit as continuous variables. The use of cut-points was less predictive of treatment change than the use of continuous score. The mean difference in the change in SLEDAI-2000 scores, adjusted for prior score, between patients with treatment increase and those without was 2.64 (95% CI 2.16, 3.14).
Conclusions: An appropriate SLEDAI-2000 score to define active disease is 3 or 4. SLEDAI-2000 index is sensitive to change. The use of SLEDAI-2000 as a continuous outcome is recommended for comparative purposes.