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Henoch-Schönlein Purpura in Children: An Updated Review

Author(s):

Alexander K. C. Leung*, Benjamin Barankin and Kin Fon Leong   Pages 1 - 12 ( 12 )

Abstract:


Background: Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is an IgA-mediated systemic small-vessel vasculitis with a predilection for the skin, gastrointestinal tract, joints, and kidneys. It is the most common form of systemic vasculitis in children.

Objective: To familiarize physicians with the etiopathogenesis, etiology, clinical manifestations, evaluation, and management of children with Henoch-Schönlein purpura.

Methods: A PubMed search was conducted in January 2020 in Clinical Queries using the key terms “Henoch-Schönlein purpura” OR “IgA vasculitis” OR “anaphylactoid purpura”. The search strategy included meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, clinical trials, observational studies, and reviews published within the past 10 years. Only papers published in the English literature were included in this review. This paper is based on, but not limited to, the search results.

Results: Globally, the incidence of HSP is 10 to 20 cases per 100,000 children per year. Approximately 90% of cases occur in children between 2 and 10 years of age, with a peak incidence at 4 to 7 years. The diagnosis should be based on the finding of palpable purpura in the presence of at least one of the following criteria, namely, diffuse abdominal pain, arthritis or arthralgia, renal involvement (hematuria and/or proteinuria), and a biopsy showing predominant IgA deposition. Most cases are self-limited. The average duration of the disease is 4 weeks. Long-term complications are rare and include persistent hypertension and end-stage kidney disease. Therapy consists of general and supportive measures as well as treatment of the sequelae of the vasculitis. Current evidence does not support universal treatment of HSP patients with corticosteroids. Oral corticosteroids may be considered for HSP patients with severe gastrointestinal pain and gastrointestinal hemorrhage.

Conclusions: Most cases of HSP have an excellent outcome, with renal involvement being the the most important prognostic factor in determining morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, early steroid treatment does not reduce the incidence and severity of nephropathy in children with HSP. In HSP children who have severe nephritis or renal involvement with proteinuria of greater than 3 months, an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker should be considered in addition to corticosteroids to prevent and/or limit secondary glomerular injury.

Keywords:

Abdominal pain, arthralgia, arthritis, hematuria, IgA vasculitis, palpable purpura, proteinuria, vasculitis

Affiliation:

Department of Pediatrics, The University of Calgary, Alberta Children’s Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, Toronto Dermatology Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Pediatric Institute, Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, Kuala Lumpur



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