UPDATE ON LEUKOCYTOCLASTIC VASCULITIS (HSP)
Author(s): Reima Bakry
Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) is a disease involving inflammation of small blood vessels. It most commonly occurs in children. The inflammation causes blood vessels in the skin, intestines, kidneys, and joints to start leaking. The main symptom is a rash with numerous small bruises, which have a raised appearance, over the legs or buttocks. Although HSP can affect people at any age, most cases occur in children between the ages of 2 and 11. It is more common in boys than girls. Adults with HSP are more likely to have more severe disease compared to children. HSP usually ends after four to six weeks -- sometimes with recurrence of symptoms over this period, but with no long-term consequences (recurrences are fairly common). If organs such as the kidneys and intestines are affected, treatment is often needed and it is important to have regular follow-up to prevent serious complications.