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Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is a form of vasculitis, a condition which involves inflammation of the blood vessels. It is one of the most common forms of vasculitis in childhood. HSP is seen most frequently in children between the ages of two and 11 years, and occurs more frequently in boys. A family connection has been noted with HSP, where the disease has happened to two or more siblings of the same family, either at the same time, or one after another.
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.
The following are the most common symptoms of Henoch-Schönlein purpura. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of Henoch-Schönlein purpura may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.
Henoch-Schönlein purpura is diagnosed based on criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology. These criteria include:
In addition, ultrasound (a diagnostic imaging technique which uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs) may be used to examine the gastrointestinal tract for presence of the disease.
Specific treatment for Henoch-Schönlein purpura will be determined by your child's physician based on:
Treatments for HSP may include:
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Online Resources of Pediatric Arthritis & Other Rheumatic Diseases
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