Henoch-Schonlein Purpura is a medical disease that involves inflammation of blood vessels. This condition is also abbreviated as HSP. This inflammation causes the blood vessels in skin, intestine, joints as well as kidneys to leak. The chief symptoms of the condition are rashes that are often accompanied with small bruises. These rashes have elevated appearance on the legs as well as butts. The condition usually takes around four weeks to six weeks to be resolved. However, symptoms of the condition can be recurring. Though the condition can affect anyone at any age it is most commonly found in children. Moreover, HSP is more common in boys as compared to girls. Comparably with children HSP in adult is generally more serious.
Symptoms of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura
The most common symptoms of HSP are said to be rashes, swelling as well as pain in the joint. Some people also experience pain in the abdomen, kidney disease and occurrence of blood in urine. Patient may suffer from fever, headache, muscle pain, etc for two to three weeks before the condition affects. This medical irregularity can also be serious and may affect other bodily organs such as heart, brain or lungs, in rare cases. Some of the common symptoms of HSP may include:
- Rashes: Rashes are common occurrence in patient suffering from HSP. Initially these rashes may appear like hives with tiny red spots which may be elevated. These rashes often occur at butt-cheeks or the lower legs; however they can also be seen on knees, elbows, etc. gradually these rashes may change and appear like bruises. These dermatologic changes are seen on both side of the body equally.
- Joint problems: Inflammation of joint is another common symptom of Hench Schonlein Purpura. This complication may also be accompanied by swelling or pain. Joint issues are mostly associated with knee and ankle joints. This complication is present for short time (few days) and does not cause any join issues.
- Pain in the abdomen: It is recorded that over 50% people affected with HSP may also have gastrointestinal tract inflammation which may also cause cramps and pain. This would also lead to loss of appetite, loose motions, vomiting and blood in stools in rare cases. In some cases patients may experience pain in the abdomen before appearance of the rashes. In seldom cases intussusceptions (which is anomalous bowel folding) can also cause blockage of bowel which can be fixed through surgery.
- Renal impairment: Henoch Schonlein Purpura can also lead to kidney issues which can be identified with signs such as blood in urine, protein in urine, etc. Kidney difficulties can only be detected through urine examination as it may not generally cause discomfort. In some people renal impairment may be mild and ebb away automatically in short time without causing any long term damages. However, if detected it is essential to monitor infection of kidney effectively as 5% people with HSP may develop chronic kidney disease and 1% may suffer from complete kidney failure.
Causes of henoch schonlein purpura
Experts could not confirm what exactly cases HSP. However, it is hypothesized that immune system of the body may play a role in affected blood vessels. In many cases it can be inappropriate immune response that may lead to HSP. Considerable amount of HSP cases are diagnosed only after upper respiratory tract infection occurs. In some cases experts suspects links between the disease and vaccinations given for typhoid, yellow fever, measles, cholera, hepatitis, etc. It is also assumed that the condition may also occur due to reaction to food, medicines, response to insect bites and chemicals. Experts also assume that the condition may also be associated with cold weather and season such as winter.
It is quite easy for a doctor to determine HSP is associated symptoms such as rashes, pain in joint and gastrointestinal symptoms are reported. If some of these symptoms or signs are not present then your doctor may recommend some other tests to confirm the affliction of the condition.
There is not single laboratory test that can confirm the presence of HSP. In fact, to confirmedly diagnose the condition one may need a combination of tests to rule out other possibilities and confirm affliction of this disease. Blood test is one of such lab tests that can help in understanding HSP prevalence. This test check for anomalous level of irregular antibodies associated with HSP. Urine test is another evaluation technique which is often suggested with Blood test. This test will help in determining any irregularities associated with the kidneys as well.
Biopsies may also be suggested to determine the underlying cause of the condition. In this test a small skin sample is taken from the affected region to examine it under microscope. Imaging techniques that use ultrasound may also help the doctor to rule-out cause of internal complications such as pain in abdomen, bowel obstruction etc.
HSP in Children
Henoch Schonlein Purpura is said to be common in children then in men. Though it can affect anyone, it is mostly recorded in children ageing between 2 year and 11 years of age. 90% of affected HSP patients are below the age of 10 years while 75% of HSP patients are recorded to be less than 7-8 years of age. The symptoms and causes of HSP in case of adults and children are the same. The only difference is that children are more vulnerable to the condition as compared to adults.
Treatment for Henoch Schonlein Purpura
In most cases HSP is said to be self-restricting and alleviates without any medical intervention. It may take around 30 days for the condition to alleviate and it may not leave behind any lasting effects. If any underlying health irregularity is suspected it is better to visit a doctor to get professional help. Corticosteroid medicines may be suggested by your doctor to deal with the condition. Drugs such as Prednisone may help in avoiding complications of the medical irregularity. Use of this medicine, however, is controversial and these are often suggested for treating gastrointestinal issues. If conventional treatments do not help, then in serious cases surgery may be the last option. Before taking up any treatments HSP patients can and should discuss pros and cons of a treatment with their doctor.
Henoch Schonlein Purpura – Pictures