Henoch-Schonlein purpura is a disease that involves purple spots on the skin, joint pain, gastrointestinal problems, and glomerulonephritis (a type of kidney disorder).
Alternative NamesAnaphylactoid purpura; Vascular purpura
Henoch-Schonlein is a type of hypersensitivity vasculitis and inflammatory response within the blood vessel. It is caused by an abnormal response of the immune system. It is unclear why this occurs.
The syndrome is usually seen in children, but it may affect people of any age. It is more common in boys than in girls. Many people with Henoch-Schonlein purpura had an upper respiratory illness in the previous weeks.
- Abdominal pain
- Bloody stools
Hives or angioedema
- Joint pain
- Painful menstruation
- Purple spots on the skin (purpura), usually over the buttocks, lower legs, and elbows
Exams and Tests
The doctor will examine your body and look at your skin. The physical exam will reveal skin lesions and joint tenderness.
A urinalysis shows microscopic blood in the urine. A skin biopsy shows vasculitis.
There is no specific treatment. Most cases go away on their own without treatment. If symptoms persist, your doctor may recommend therapy with corticosteroids such as prednisone.
The disease usually resolves spontaneously without treatment.
- Symptoms return
- Kidney problems (may occur in rare cases)
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if:
- Symptoms of Henoch-Scholnlein purpura develop, particularly if they last for more than a few days
- If low urine output develops after an episode of Henoch-Schonlein purpura