Henoch-Schönlein Purpura (HSP) in Children

Henoch-Schnlein Purpura (HSP) in Children

At first, Tyler established red spots and raised spots that turned purple and appeared like contusions all over his legs and buttocks. Then he grumbled that his stomach and knees injured. When his parents took him to the doctor to learn what was wrong, the doctor stated that Tyler had the classic signs of Henoch-Schönlein purpura.

About Henoch-Schönlein Purpura

Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HEH-nok SHOON-line PURR-puh-ruh)– generally simply called HSP– is a condition that causes small blood vessels to end up being swollen and inflamed. This inflammation, called vasculitis, normally occurs in the skin, intestines, and kidneys. Inflamed blood vessels in the skin can leak blood cells, triggering a rash called purpura. Vessels in the intestinal tracts and kidneys likewise can swell and leak.

The condition was named after two German physicians, Eduard Henoch and Johann Schönlein, who first explained the disease in the 1800s. In some cases it’s likewise called allergic purpura, anaphylactoid purpura, or IgA vasculitis.

HSP takes place much more frequently in kids than in grownups, normally between ages 3 and 10. It is one of the most common types of vasculitis in children, and boys get it about two times as frequently as girls.

The most striking feature of Henoch-Schonlein purpura is a purplish rash, usually on the lower legs and butts. Henoch-Schonlein purpura can also cause abdominal pain and hurting joints. Seldom major kidney damage can take place.

Causes of Henoch-Schönlein Purpura

Although nobody truly knows what causes HSP, physicians do understand that it happens when the body’s body immune system does not operate as it should. A protein called immunoglobulin A (IgA) is a kind of antibody that works to combat infections. In HSP, IgA likewise gets put in the capillary and causes swelling and bleeding.

It is unclear why this immune reaction takes place. It typically takes place after a bacterial or viral infection of the upper respiratory tract (sinuses, throat, or lungs). It is seen more frequently in fall, winter season, and spring. Although less typical, other possible triggers consist of particular medicines, food reactions, insect bites, and vaccinations.

HSP can not be passed from one person to another.

Henoch-Schnlein Purpura (HSP) in Children

Symptoms and signs of Henoch-Schönlein Purpura

Typical signs and symptoms of HSP consist of:

  • purpura, a raised, reddish purple rash
  • joint pain and swelling
  • stomach pain
  • blood in the urine (pee) or other kidney problems
  • fever
  • headache

The rash happens in all cases and is what helps medical professionals detect HSP. It might take the type of purpura, determine red dots called petechiae, contusions, or often blisters.
The rash normally occurs on the legs and buttocks, however can also appear on other parts of the body, such as the elbows, arms, face, and trunk.

Many kids with HSP likewise have joint pain and swelling. These symptoms can occur before the rash appears. HSP most typically affects the ankles and knees, but other joints like the hands, elbows, and feet may be affected.

Stomach pain normally begins a week after the rash appears. Pain may come and go and can be accompanied by queasiness, vomiting, or diarrhea. Some kids will have blood in the stool (brought on by dripping capillary), but it might not show up.

HSP can impact the kidneys in many cases. Percentages of blood or protein may be found in the urine, and the urine might look bloody.


When the particular rash on the legs and buttocks is present, especially if accompanied by abdominal or joint pain, physicians can easily identify HSP. A medical diagnosis may be harder if joint pain or abdominal symptoms are present prior to the rash appears, or if symptoms take a number of weeks to appear.

The doctor likewise might ask for routine blood tests to try to find signs of infections, anemia, or kidney disease. If abdominal pain is severe, imaging tests (like X-rays or ultrasound) might be required. A stool sample can look for blood in the stool (poop). A urine sample can expose blood or protein in the urine.

As much as half of kids who establish HSP will have issues with their kidneys, so the doctor will most likely inspect kidney function over several months. If the doctor thinks that HSP has actually triggered kidney damage, your child may have to see a kidney doctor (nephrologist).

Treatment for Henoch-Schönlein Purpura

Symptoms of HSP normally last for about a month. The majority of the time, it goes away on its own without treatment. To assist your child feel better, the doctor might recommend certain medications, such as:

  • antibiotics, if an infection is causing the HSP
  • pain relievers (such as acetaminophen)
  • anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen) to alleviate joint pain and swelling
  • corticosteroids (such as prednisone) for severe abdominal pain or severe kidney disease

Likewise, the doctor may inform you to stop offering your child particular medications if there’s a possibility that they caused the HSP.

While at home, aim to keep your child as comfortable as possible. Make certain your child gets plenty of rest and drinks fluids. If your child stops eating or drinking, or develops severe abdominal pain or kidney issues, hospitalization may be necessary.

What to Anticipate

A lot of children with HSP fully recuperate within a month and have no long-term issues. Kids whose kidneys are impacted will have to see a doctor for routine examinations to keep track of kidney function.

About one-third of those who have HSP get it once again, typically a few months after the first episode. If HSP does come back, it’s normally less severe than the preliminary episode.

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