Does remission in systemic lupus erythematosus according to the 2021 DORIS definition match the treating rheumatologist's judgement?

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2024 Jan 4;63(1):72-78. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kead159.


Objectives: To assess agreement between the 2021 Definition Of Remission In SLE (DORIS) and physician-judged lupus activity.

Methods: A cross-sectional analysis was conducted of data from a Spanish prospective multicentre study of SLE patients. We applied the 2021 DORIS criteria and assessed whether remission status based on this definition agreed with remission as per physician clinical judgement and reasons for disagreement between them.

Results: Out of 508 patients [92% women; mean age (s.d.): 50.4 years (13.7)] studied, 267 (54.4%) met the criteria for 2021 DORIS remission. Based on physicians' judgement, 277 (55.9%) patients were classified as in remission or serologically active clinically quiescent (SACQ). The overall rate of agreement between these assessments was 81.2% (95% CI: 79.9, 82.9%) with a Cohen's kappa of 0.62 (0.55-0.69). Overall, 46 (9.1%) patients were classified as in remission/SACQ by rheumatologists but did not meet the 2021 DORIS criteria for remission. The main reasons for discrepancies were a clinical SLE Disease Activity Index (cSLEDAI) score >0 in 39 patients, a Physician Global Assessment score >0.5 in five patients, and prednisone >5 mg/day in another five patients.

Conclusions: The 2021 DORIS remission is an achievable target in clinical practice. There is substantial agreement between the DORIS definition and physician-judged remission. The discordance was mainly due to physicians classifying some patients with ongoing mild disease activity as in remission. Thus, the standardized DORIS definition should be used to define the target in a treat-to-target strategy for the management of SLE.

Keywords: DORIS; SLE; Spanish; cohort; disease activity; multicentre; remission; target.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Judgment*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic* / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Remission Induction
  • Rheumatologists
  • Severity of Illness Index