Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is a form of vasculitis. Vasculitis is a condition that involves inflammation of the blood vessels. It is one of the most common forms of vasculitis in children. HSP is seen most often in children between the ages of 2 and 6. It occurs more often in boys. The disease can happen in siblings of the same family. Most children with HSP recover fully.
HSP is an autoimmune disorder. This when the body’s immune system attacks the body’s own cells and organs. This immune response may be caused by an upper respiratory tract infection, allergic reaction, medication, trauma, or exposure to cold weather.
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. Common symptoms include:
The symptoms of HSP can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her health care provider for a diagnosis.
The process starts with a medical history and a physical exam. Diagnosis is based on symptoms such as:
Tests may also be done, such as:
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. Treatments for HSP may include:
Talk with the healthcare providers about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all medications.
Most children with HSP recover fully. However, some children may develop kidney damage. In rare cases, a child may have kidney failure. Women who have had HSP as a child have a higher risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension.
If your child’s symptoms get worse or he or she has new symptoms, let the healthcare provider know.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider: