Sleep

May 2009

Clinical

Could it be Henoch-Schönlein purpura?

Volume 38, No.5, May 2009 Pages 321-324

Chi Eung Danforn Lim

Lisa N C Cheng

Felix W S Wong

Background

Henoch-Schönlein purpura is the most common form of systemic vasculitis in the paediatric setting with 90% of cases occuring in childhood. Although diagnosis in the primary care setting may be difficult, it is vital in order to avoid significant complications.

Objective/s

This article outlines the pathogenesis, clinical manifestations and classification of Henoch-Schönlein purpura and details evidence based investigations and management.

Discussion

Henoch-Schönlein purpura is a self limiting disease characterised by a tetrad of clinical manifestations that vary in occurrence and order of presentation. There is no single diagnostic test to confirm Henoch- Schönlein purpura; diagnosis depends on recognition of clinical manifestations. Management usually occurs in the ambulatory setting and is mainly supportive. Priorities include symptom relief and preventive therapy to reduce the risk of complications. Further trials to clarify the role of glucocorticosteroids are needed before a definitive role for steroids in the management of Henoch-Schönlein purpura can be established.

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Correspondence afp@racgp.org.au

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