Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is the most common form of vasculitis in children.
It is a small-vessel vasculitis mediated by immunoglobulin A–containing immune complexes and characterized by nonthrombocytopenic purpura, abdominal pain, arthralgia, and renal disease.
Diagnosis of HSP is clinical, and no laboratory tests are specific for HSP.
Newborn screening has helped with early diagnosis and management, thus decreasing morbidity and improving longevity.
Treatment is supportive. Patients with severe abdominal and joint pain may be treated with steroids.
Steroids do not prevent renal disease in patients with HSP.
Patients with nephritic or nephrotic syndrome have a much higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease and should be referred to a nephrologist.