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Abstract

Objective

To use consensus methods and the considerable expertise contained within the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) organization to extend the 3 previously developed treatment plans for moderate juvenile dermatomyositis (DM) to span the full course of treatment.

Methods

A consensus meeting was held in Chicago on April 23–24, 2010, involving 30 pediatric rheumatologists and 4 lay participants. Nominal group technique was used to achieve consensus on treatment plans that represented typical management of moderate juvenile DM. A preconference survey of CARRA, completed by 151 (56%) of 272 members, was used to provide additional guidance to the discussion.

Results

Consensus was reached on timing and rate of steroid tapering, duration of steroid therapy, and actions to be taken if patients were unchanged, worsening, or experiencing medication side effects or disease complications. Of particular importance, a single consensus steroid taper was developed.

Conclusion

We were able to develop consensus treatment plans that describe therapy for moderate juvenile DM throughout the treatment course. These treatment plans can now be used clinically, and data collected prospectively regarding treatment effectiveness and toxicity. This will allow comparison of these treatment plans and facilitate the development of evidence-based treatment recommendations for moderate juvenile DM.