Development of classification criteria for discoid lupus erythematosus: Results of a Delphi exercise

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Aug;77(2):261-267. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2017.02.030. Epub 2017 Jun 9.


Background: No classification criteria currently exist for discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE), which has led to problematic heterogeneity in both observational and interventional research efforts.

Objectives: We sought to develop DLE classification criteria based on consensus of international expert opinion of relevant stakeholders in the field.

Methods: Using a Delphi consensus process and nominal group techniques, potential items for classification criteria were generated. Experts ranked items in terms of their appropriateness and ability to discriminate DLE from other diagnoses, and items were subsequently eliminated using consensus exercises.

Results: A final list of 12 clinical and histopathologic items was generated for potential inclusion into a set of DLE classification criteria through a formal ongoing validation process.

Limitations: The participants are predominantly composed of DLE experts in North America and Europe.

Conclusion: This work represents a key step toward the development of formal DLE classification criteria.

Keywords: Delphi method; classification criteria; connective tissue diseases; cutaneous lupus erythematosus; discoid lupus erythematosus; lupus.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference

MeSH terms

  • Consensus
  • Delphi Technique
  • Dermatology*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid / classification*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid / diagnosis*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid / pathology
  • Pediatrics*
  • Rheumatology*
  • Terminology as Topic