Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) or immunoglobulin A (IgAV) vasculitis is an inflammation of the small blood vessels in the skin, joints, intestines, and kidneys. This disorder can cause symptoms to appear in the form of a red or purple rash (purpura) in the skin area of ​​the lower leg or buttocks. 

HSP is a fairly rare condition. This disease is not contagious and does not run in families. HSP can be experienced by anyone, but it is more commonly experienced by children under 11 years of age. In most cases, people with HSP recover within a few weeks.

Causes of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

It is not known exactly what causes Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP). However, blood vessel inflammation in HSP is thought to be related to an abnormal immune system response to infection (autoimmune).

This abnormal immune system response can cause inflammation in the blood vessels. This condition will result in bleeding and the appearance of a red or purple rash (purpura) on the skin.

Apart from being the result of an abnormal immune system response, HSP also often occurs after a person has the following infections:

  • Viral infections, such as Coxsackievirus , hepatitis A, hepatitis B , parvovirus B19, Varicella zoster, and adenovirus
  • Bacterial infections, such as Mycoplasma and Streptococcus

Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) can also occur as a result of vaccinations, insect bites , use of certain drugs, and exposure to cold temperatures.

Risk factors for Henoch-Schenlein purpura

HSP can happen to anyone. However, this condition is most common in children ages 2–11 years. HSP is also more common in boys than girls. In adults who have Henoch-Schenlein purpura (HSP), the symptoms can be more severe.

Symptoms of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

Symptoms of Henoch-Schonlein purpura generally last 6–8 weeks. These symptoms may recur after this time. The following is a breakdown of the symptoms that can occur when a person experiences HSP:

  • A red or purple skin rash (purpura), which appears most often on the arms and legs
  • Pain and swelling in the joints
  • Abdominal pain or cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Bloody bowel movements (BAB).
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloody urine
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Easily tired

When to see a doctor

Check with your doctor if you experience the symptoms mentioned above. Immediately see a doctor if a skin rash appears accompanied by pain and swelling in the joints, as well as abdominal pain.

Because HSP can recur, HSP sufferers need to continue to carry out routine controls to the doctor even though they have recovered. Examination to the doctor also needs to be done if HSP complaints reappear.

Diagnosis Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

To diagnose Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP), the doctor will ask questions and answers about the symptoms you are experiencing. After that, the doctor will carry out a physical examination to see purpuric skin rashes, joint swelling, and stomach disorders.

To confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity of the disease, the doctor will also carry out the following supporting examinations:

  • Urine test , to determine whether there is protein and blood in the urine, to detect kidney damage
  • Stool examination , to determine whether there is blood in the stool
  • Blood tests , to detect signs of infection and assess kidney function
  • Abdominal ultrasound , to see the condition of the digestive tract and kidneys, including to identify the cause of abdominal pain and the presence or absence of complications, such as bleeding in the intestine
  • Skin and kidney biopsies , to detect buildup of the protein immunoglobulin A (IgA)

Treatment of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

Symptoms and complaints experienced by sufferers of Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) will usually subside and disappear by themselves after 6-8 weeks. Therefore, doctors will only advise patients to rest, drink enough water, and take pain relievers.

Several types of drugs that can be given by doctors to relieve complaints and symptoms of HSP are:

  • Antipyretic-analgesic drugs , such as paracetamol and non -steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , to relieve fever and joint pain
  • Corticosteroid class drugs , such as prednisone, to relieve stomach pain and arthritis

Although it can heal on its own, HSP can recur. Therefore, HSP sufferers are advised to stay under control at the doctor, and undergo routine urine tests and blood tests.

The purpose of these routine checks is to assess kidney function and monitor the patient's condition. The inspection will be carried out for 6–12 months and can be stopped if no problems are found.

If HSP is severe enough or has caused complications, such as kidney problems, the patient may need to be hospitalized. Surgery also needs to be done if HSP has caused the intestine to fold (intussusception) or rupture.

Henoch -Schonlein Complex Purple

Although quite rare, Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) can cause the following complications:

  • Kidney disorders
  • Bleeding in the intestines
  • Inflammation of the testicles ( orchitis )
  • Bowing of the intestine ( intussusception )

Although rare, HSP can also cause complications such as seizures, bleeding in the lungs, and heart attacks.

Prevention of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) is difficult to prevent because the cause is unknown. What you can do to reduce the risk of this condition is to prevent viral and bacterial infections. One of them is through the implementation of a clean and healthy lifestyle .

In addition, you can also reduce the risk of developing HSP by avoiding the use of drugs that can cause immune system disorders.

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