Clinical practice guidelines and recommendations for the management of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: a critical comparison.

SLE has a great clinical heterogeneity and low prevalence, thus making the development of recommendations or clinical practice guidelines (CPG) based on high-quality evidence difficult. In the last few years, several CPG appeared addressing the management of the disease. The aim of this review is to critically compare the recommendations made in the most recent CPG and to analyse and compare their methodological quality.The Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) II tool was used to compare the methodological quality of each of the CPG.Most CPG agreed in the general management and first-line treatment recommendations where there is higher quality evidence and disagreed in refractory disease treatment where there is lack of quality evidence. Also, the CPG are agreed in whether a patient should be treated regarding the most severe clinical manifestation or taking into account the treatment that best serves all clinical manifestations. The majority of the appraised CPG scored high-quality ratings, especially for scope and purpose and clarity of presentation, while they were of less quality when assessing applicability of each CPG.CPG should aid, but not replace, the health professional's clinical judgment in daily clinical patient management.

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