Testing & Diagnosis for Henoch-Schonlein Purpura (HSP) in Children

How is Henoch-Schonlein purpura diagnosed?

Henoch-Schonlein purpura is diagnosed based on criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology.

These criteria include:

  • Palpable purpura - Bleeding into the skin or mucous membranes and other tissues or the presence of certain cells when a tissue sample from the purpura is examined under the microscope.
  • Younger than 20 at the onset of the disease.
  • Bowel angina - pain in the abdomen, which is worse after meals.
  • Bowel ischemia - decreased blood flow to an area due to narrowing in an artery, which may result in bloody diarrhea.

In addition, ultrasound may be used to examine your child’s gastrointestinal tract for presence of the disease.

If severe kidney lesions are suspected, your child’s doctor may perform a biopsy of your child’s kidney to see how serious the situation is.