Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) is a disease involving inflammation of small blood vessels. It most commonly occurs in children. The inflammation causes blood vessels in the skin, intestines, kidneys, and joints to start leaking.The main symptom is a rash with numerous small bruises, which have a raised appearance, over the legs or buttocks.
Henoch-Schonlein purpura is a small vessel vacuities in which complexes of immunoglobulin A (IgA) and complement component 3 (C3) are deposited on arterioles, capillaries, and venules. As with IgA nephropathy, serum levels of IgA are high in HSP and there are identical findings on renal biopsy; however, IgA nephropathy has a predilection for young adults while HSP is more predominant among children. A diagnosis of Henoch-Schonlein purpura is fairly easy to make if the classic rash, joint pain and gastrointestinal symptoms are present. If some of these signs and symptoms are missing, the following tests have to be done lab testes (blood and urine tests), biopsies, and imaging tests.
Henoch-Schonlein purpura usually improves on its own within a month with no lasting ill effects. Bed rest, plenty of fluids and over-the-counter pain relievers may help. In Henoch-Schonlein purpura, some of the body's small blood vessels become inflamed, which can cause bleeding in the skin, joints, abdomen and kidneys. Why this initial inflammation develops isn't clear, although it may be the result of an overzealous immune system responding inappropriately to certain triggers.
HSP is typically a disease of children between the ages of 3 and 10 years. Although adult cases have been described, 50% of all cases occur at or before the age of 5 years. Males are affected twice as often as females. The overall incidence in children has been estimated to be 13.5 cases per 100,000.In 2002, a survey was published on the frequency and ethnic variation of childhood vasculitic syndromes.