What are the symptoms? Symptoms of HSP include: painful, occasionally swollen joints purpura (red/purple skin rash, which fails to go white with pressure) abdominal (tummy) pain kidney inflammation (see entry Glomerulonephritis). Generalised abdominal pain may be caused by inflammation and swelling of the wall of the intestines or, more rarely, by a twisting inversion of the lining of the large intestine (bowel), which is called an acute intussusception. What are the causes? HSP usually occurs after an infection, often a viral respiratory tract infection and is due to an abnormal response of the immune system. It is unclear why this occurs. How is it diagnosed? Examination of the skin will reveal the typical rash seen in HSP that starts in the feet and can involve the legs, trunk and arms. Joint tenderness will also be clear from a physical examination. In some cases, a skin biopsy, removal of a small piece of skin tissue for analysis, may be required. A urine sample may be tested to look for haematuria (blood) and proteinuria (protein) in the urine. Blood and protein get into the urine because of the involvement of the kidneys in HSP. Abdominal involvement may be investigated by a CT scan. How is it treated? The natural course of the disease in children is to settle and not return. There is no specific treatment. Most cases go away on their own without treatment. If symptoms persist, corticosteroids, such as prednisone, may be required. Steroids dampen down the response of the immune system and will improve symptoms. If acute intussusception occurs then surgery may be necessary to correct this. Rarely other treatments are required if the disease is severe or if attacks of disease keep recurring. This is more common in adolescents and adults. Whilst kidney involvement is common, occurring in up to 60 per cent of sufferers, serious kidney damage is very uncommon. Haematuria may persist for months if regular urine testing is performed. If kidney involvement is severe or if it persists, a kidney biopsy may be performed. Recurrent HSP may recur in association with subsequent infections. However, the chance of a full recovery is excellent. Inheritance patterns and prenatal diagnosis Inheritance patternsNone. Prenatal diagnosisNone. Is there support? Henoch Schonlein Purpura Support Group Tel: 0118 9416 391Email: email@example.com Contact a Family – this is a small contact group, established in 2003. It offers a listening ear and relates experiences of parents who children have been affected by the condition. Group details last updated January 2023.