Long-term follow-up of a randomized trial on 118 patients with polyarteritis nodosa or microscopic polyangiitis without poor-prognosis factors

Autoimmun Rev. 2014 Feb;13(2):197-205. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2013.10.001. Epub 2013 Oct 23.


The purpose of this study was to assess the long-term outcomes of patients with polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) or microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) without Five-Factor Score (FFS)-defined poor-prognosis factors (FFS=0) and enrolled in a prospective clinical trial. Patients were followed (2005-2012) under routine clinical care in an extended study and data were recorded prospectively. Long-term survival, disease-free survival (DFS), relapses, therapeutic responses and sequelae were analyzed. Mean±SD follow-up was 98.2±41.9months. After having initially received glucocorticoids (GC) alone, according to the study protocol, 82% (97/118) patients achieved remission but 18% (21/118) required ≥1 immunosuppressant(s) (IS) before 19/21 achieved remission. Two patients died before entering remission. After remission, 53% (61/116) patients relapsed 25.6±27.9months after starting treatment. The 5- and 8-year overall survival rates were 93% and 86%, respectively, with no difference between PAN and MPA, and between relapsers and nonrelapsers. DFS was shorter for MPA than PAN patients (P=0.02). Throughout follow-up, 47% of patients required ≥1 IS. At the last follow-up visit, 44% were still taking GC and 15% IS. The mean vasculitis damage index score was 1.9±1.9; the most frequent sequelae were peripheral neuropathy, hypertension and osteoporosis. For PAN or MPA patients without poor-prognosis factors at diagnosis and treated initially with GC alone, long-term survival was excellent. However, relapses remained frequent, requiring IS introduction for nearly half of the patients. To lower the frequencies of relapses and sequelae remains a challenge for FFS=0 PAN and MPA patients.

Keywords: ANCA; Long-term follow-up; Microscopic polyangiitis; Polyarteritis nodosa; Relapses; Sequelae.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Microscopic Polyangiitis / drug therapy*
  • Microscopic Polyangiitis / mortality
  • Microscopic Polyangiitis / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa / drug therapy*
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa / mortality
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa / pathology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Recurrence
  • Survival Analysis


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents