Henoch-Schonlein Purpura (HSP) or Anaphylactoid Purpura

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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Vasculitis symptoms

What are the symptoms of vasculitis?

The symptoms of vasculitis vary greatly from person to person, and depend upon the organs affected and the severity.

  • Generally vasculitis causes fatigue and malaise.
  • Sometime vasculitis can lead to weakness and weight loss.
  • Vasculitis affecting the skin can cause rashes, skin discoloration, and ulcers.
  • Vasculitis affecting the muscles can cause muscle pain.
  • Vasculitis affecting the lungs can cause shortness of breath and cough.
  • Vasculitis affecting the heart can cause congestive heart failure.
  • Vasculitis affecting the brain can cause headaches, confusion, seizures, stroke, paralysis, numbness, and lightheadedness.
  • Vasculitis affecting the kidneys can cause kidney failure.

Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) facts

  • Henoch-Schonlein purpura is a particular form of blood vessel inflammation called vasculitis.
  • Henoch-Schonlein purpura frequently follows an infection of the throat or breathing passages, but it can be induced by certain medications.
  • Henoch-Schonlein purpura causes skin rash, pain in the abdomen, and joint inflammation (arthritis).
  • The treatment of Henoch-Schonlein purpura is directed toward the most significant area of involvement.
  • The prognosis for patients with Henoch-Schonlein purpura is generally excellent.

What is Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP)?

Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) is a form of blood vessel inflammation or vasculitis. There are many different conditions that feature vasculitis. Each of the forms of vasculitis tends to involve certain characteristic blood vessels. HSP affects the small vessels called capillaries in the skin and frequently the kidneys. HSP results in a purplish skin rash (most prominent over the buttocks and behind the lower extremities) associated with joint inflammation (arthritis) and sometimes cramping pain in the abdomen. Henoch-Schonlein purpura is also referred to as anaphylactoid purpura.

What causes HSP?

HSP occurs most often in the spring season and frequently follows an infection of the throat or breathing passages. HSP seems to represent an unusual reaction of the body's immune system that is in response to this infection (either bacteria or virus). Aside from infection, drugs can also trigger the condition. HSP occurs most commonly in children, but people of all age groups can be affected, including adults.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/7/2016

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