Updates in the treatment of granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis: At a crossroad
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There have been great advances in the management of ANCA associated vasculitis over the past decades. We have gone from an era where the disease was almost universally fatal to trying to prevent long-term side effects of treatment regimens. With the ability to use pulse cyclophosphamide or rituximab as alternates to oral cyclophosphamide for induction of remission, side effects of therapy have been greatly reduced. New approaches have drastically changed our approach to maintenance and we now favor much longer durations of maintenance therapy, as they are more successful in preventing relapse. Steroids have long been the bane of treatment as they are associated with a significant risk of infection and metabolic consequences. We are now in a steroid-sparing and looking ahead to a steroid-free era with new data being published showing lower doses of steroids being equally effective and several ongoing seminal trials looking at agents that could completely replace steroids very early on.
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