Henoch-Schonlein purpura or HSP is a disease that involves inflammation of small blood vessels, which most often occurs in children. Inflammation causes blood vessels in the skin, intestines, kidneys, and joints to begin to leak. The main symptom is reddish rash or reddish spots on the skin.
Although HSP can affect people at any age, most cases occur in children between the ages of 2-11 years. This is more common in boys than girls. Adults with HSP are more likely to have more severe illnesses than children.
HSP disease usually ends after 4-6 weeks, sometimes with recurrence of symptoms during this period, but there are no long-term consequences. If organs such as the kidneys and intestines are affected, treatment is often needed and it is important for routine care to prevent serious complications.
- 1 Causes of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura
- 2 Risk Factors for HSP Disease
- 3 Symptoms of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura
- 4 Diagnosis of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura
- 5 Treatment of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura
Causes of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura
The exact cause of HSP is unknown. The immune system (autoimmune) is believed to play a role in targeting the blood vessels involved. An abnormal immune response to infection can be a factor in many cases. About two-thirds of HSP cases occur after a person has been exposed to a respiratory infection.
Some cases of HSP disease have been associated with vaccinations for typhus, cholera, yellow fever, measles, or hepatitis B; food, medicine, chemicals, and insect bites. Some experts also say that HSP disease is associated with cold weather in autumn and winter.
Risk Factors for HSP Disease
Factors that can increase the risk of developing Henoch Schonlein purpura are:
This HSP disease mainly attacks children and young adults, with the majority of cases occurring in children between 2 and 6 years.
Henoch-Schonlein purpura is slightly more common in boys than girls.
White and Asian children are more likely to develop Henoch-Schonlein purpura than black children.
Henoch-Schonlein purpura attacks mainly in autumn, winter and spring, but rarely in summer.
Symptoms of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura
The classic symptoms of purpura are rashes, joint pain & swelling, abdominal pain, and kidney disease, including the presence of blood in the urine. Before these symptoms begin, patients may experience fever 2-3 weeks, headaches, muscle aches and joint pain. A rare symptom is involvement of other organs, such as the brain, heart, or lungs.
Here are some important details about the symptoms of HSP:
Rashes usually appear in all patients with HSP. The initial appearance of small red spots or bumps under the feet, buttocks, knees, and elbows, is more like a bruise. The rash usually affects both sides of the body and is not pale when pressed.
2. Joint inflammation
Inflammation, which involves pain and swelling in the joints, occurs in about three-quarters of cases, especially those that affect the knee and ankle. This usually lasts only a few days and does not cause long-term chronic joint problems.
3. Stomach ache
More than half of people with HSP disease, inflammation of the digestive tract can cause pain or cramps; it can also cause loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes there is blood in the stool.
In some cases, patients may have abdominal pain before the rash appears. In rare cases, abnormal intestinal folds (intussusception) can cause intestinal obstruction, which may require surgery to improve the condition.
4. Kidney damage
HSP disease can cause kidney problems, characterized by signs such as protein or blood in the urine. This is usually only found in urine tests, because they generally do not cause discomfort.
In most patients, mild kidney damage occurs without long-term damage. It is very important to monitor kidney problems closely and make sure that the problem is cured, because about 5 percent of patients can develop progressive kidney disease. About 1 percent can continue to develop complete kidney failure.
Diagnosis of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura
The diagnosis of HSP disease may be clear when a typical rash, arthritis (aches and arthritis), and abdominal pain are felt by the patient. A doctor may suggest several tests to rule out other diagnoses, confirm the diagnosis, and assess its severity.
Sometimes, when the diagnosis is certain, especially if the only symptom is a classic rash, the doctor may do a skin or kidney biopsy. Urine and blood tests may be done to detect signs of kidney involvement and may need to be repeated during the follow-up period to monitor any changes in kidney function.
Treatment of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura
Although there is no specific treatment for HSP, you can use pain medications, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen for joint pain. In some cases, corticosteroid drugs can be used.
Rashes and joint pain will usually disappear after four to six weeks without causing permanent damage. Rash attacks may recur in about one third of cases, but they are usually milder, do not involve joint and stomach symptoms, and will heal on their own.
Thus the explanation of the causes of HSP disease to its treatment in children. From now on take care of your baby’s health with healthy food, yes, Mother!