Henoch-Schonlein Purpura (HSP) Symptoms & Causes

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What causes Henoch-Schonlein purpura? 

As with the other forms of vasculitis, the cause of HSP is not known. HSP may be associated with an upper respiratory tract infection or possibly an allergic reaction.

Most children with HSP recover completely.

What are the symptoms of Henoch-Schonlein purpura?

  • purpura - bleeding into the skin, mucous membranes, internal organs and other tissues
  • arthralgia - pain in the joints
  • inflammation of the joints
  • abdominal pain
  • gastrointestinal bleeding - bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach and intestines
  • nephritis - inflammation of the kidneys
  • subcutaneous edema - Swelling just below the skin
  • encephalopathy - dysfunction of the brain
  • orchitis - inflammation of the testicle(s)

Renal (kidney) involvement is common, occurring in 30 to 70 percent of children with HSP.

  • Kidney disease is usually noted after the onset of other symptoms.
  • Worsening of the kidney symptoms and biopsy-confirmed worsening of the kidney lesions may be observed in patients with repeated attacks of rash or hematuria (blood in the urine).
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