Henoch-Schonlein Purpura: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    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.

Medically Reviewed on 3/18/2019

Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is a form of vasculitis (blood vessel inflammation) that affects the small vessels known as capillaries in the skin and also often in the kidneys. Henoch-Schönlein purpura is also referred to as anaphylactoid purpura.

Signs and symptoms of HSP include a rash consisting of small purplish spots that is most prominent over the buttocks and behind the legs, joint inflammation (arthritis) and pain, and cramping abdominal pain. Other possible associated symptoms can include joint swelling, blood in the stool, fever, and blood in the urine.

Cause of Henoch-Schönlein purpura

Henoch-Schönlein purpura represents an unusual reaction of the immune system to an infection, and it often develops following an infection of the throat or airways. Taking certain medications can in some cases also cause the condition.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/18/2019

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