Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitides (AAV) are severe chronic auto-immune diseases in which the small vessels are inflamed. Nowadays, in the majority of patients disease can be brought into remission with cyclophosphamide and corticosteroids. However, depending upon disease characteristics patients with AAV have a risk of 29-60% to experience relapses of disease within 5 years despite maintenance therapy after induction of remission with less toxic agents, such as azathioprine, methotrexate or mycophenolate mofetil. More recently, rituximab has been found effective in both induction and maintenance of remission in AAV. This review discusses the different aspects of maintenance therapy in AAV based on reported cohorts and studies, including the different agents, therapy duration, efficacy or lack thereof and future directions. Finally, recommendations are made who to treat and for how long.
Keywords: ANCA; GPA; MPA; maintenance; vasculitis.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA. All rights reserved.