Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is a form of vasculitis, or inflammation of the blood vessels. The inflammation typically affects smaller blood vessels, resulting in a severe skin rash or bruise-like appearance on the skin. Other symptoms of HSP might include arthritis (inflammation of the joints) or nephritis (inflammation of blood vessels in the kidney). Inflammation can also occur in other organs of the body.
HSP typically affects kids between the ages of 2 and 10, although older children may also suffer from it too. HSP is the most common form of vasculitis in children.
In many cases, HSP will resolve by itself without treatment.
Henoch-Schönlein Purpura Causes & Symptoms
No one knows the cause of HSP. Symptoms of HSP will vary in each child, but common ones include:
Purpura: a hemorrhage (bleeding) into the skin, causing a rash or bruise
- Purpura: a hemorrhage (bleeding) into the skin causing a rash or bruise
- Bumps or swelling below the skin
- Painful joints
- Abdominal pain
- Kidney inflammation (nephritis)
- Brain dysfunction (encephalitis)
- Bleeding in the lungs
Your pediatric rheumatologist can help diagnose HSP via several evaluations. One of the first and crucial things to check is blood pressure. If your child has high blood pressure, it could indicate inflammation in the kidney.
Other testing might include:
- Urinalysis to check for certain proteins
- Ultrasound to assess internal bleeding or any tissue damage
- Biopsy of kidney tissue, if necessary
Henoch-Schönlein Purpura Treatment in Austin & Cedar Park, TX
For many children, they may experience only one bout of HSP during their lifetime and symptoms often go away without treatment. For others, symptoms may last longer and into adulthood. Effective treatments available for HSP are:
- Medications to control inflammation
- Close management of blood pressure along with medication, if needed
- Proper diet and staying hydrated