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What Are the Complications of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura (HSP)

Provided by Expert Zhang Youkang on 2013-01-07 14:24

Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) is a type of vasculitis involving the systemic small blood vessels. It is commonly seen in children and young adults. The following complications may be noted in the patients with Henoch-Schonlein purpura.

Kidney damage

Kidney damage is the most serious complication of Henoch-Schonlein purpura. About 20 to 50 percent of the patients have some degree of kidney involvement. It can cause blood or protein in urine, swelling and high blood pressure. Most of children with kidney problem can recover fully. However, in some cases, end stage renal disease may occur eventually. If so, dialysis or kidney transplant will be required.


Rash is a typical complication of Henoch-Schonlein purpura. It mainly develops on the buttocks, legs and feet, but also can be seen on the arms, face and trunk.


Arthritis can be commonly seen in Henoch-Scholein purpura. The patients can have painful and swollen joints mainly in the knees and ankles.

Bowel obstruction

Bowel obstruction can occur in some cases of Henoch-Scholein purpura. It can reduce blood flow to the intestinal tract and cause inflammation in other organs. It is very serious complication of Henoch-Schonlein purpura.

Further pregnancies

If women have had Henoch-Schonlein purpura in the early years of their life, they are at higher risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy than the general population. Therefore, if you have a history of Henoch-Schonlein, you should report it to your doctor and are monitored closely during pregnancy.

The above are the common complications of Henoch-Schonlein purpura. To prevent serious outcome, the above complications should be controlled effectively and timely.

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