DEFINITION OF IgA VASCULITIS (HENOCH-SCHONLEIN)
IgA vasculitis (Henoch-Schönlein) is a small-vessel vasculitis characterized by palpable purpura (most commonly distributed over the buttocks and lower extremities), arthralgias, gastrointestinal signs and symptoms, and glomerulonephritis.
INCIDENCE AND PREVALENCE OF IgA VASCULITIS (HENOCH-SCHONLEIN)
IgA vasculitis (Henoch-Schönlein) is usually seen in children; most patients range in age from 4 to 7 years; however, the disease may also be seen in infants and adults. It is not a rare disease; in one series it accounted for between 5 and 24 admissions per year at a pediatric hospital. The male-to-female ratio is 1.5:1. A seasonal variation with a peak incidence in spring has been noted.
PATHOLOGY AND PATHOGENESIS OF IgA VASCULITIS (HENOCH-SCHONLEIN)
The presumptive pathogenic mechanism for IgA (Henoch-Schönlein) vasculitis is immune-complex deposition. A number of inciting antigens have been suggested including upper respiratory tract infections, various drugs, foods, insect bites, and immunizations. IgA is the antibody class most often seen in the immune complexes and has been demonstrated in the renal biopsies of these patients.
CLINICAL AND LABORATORY MANIFESATIONS OF IgA VASCULITIS (HENOCH-SCHONLEIN)
In pediatric patients, palpable purpura is seen in virtually all patients; most patients develop polyarthralgias in the absence of frank arthritis. Gastrointestinal involvement, which is seen in almost 70% of pediatric patients, is characterized by colicky abdominal pain usually associated with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation, and is frequently accompanied by the passage of blood and mucus per rectum; bowel intussusception may occur. Renal involvement occurs in 10–50% of patients and is usually characterized by mild glomerulonephritis leading to proteinuria and microscopic hematuria, with red blood cell casts in the majority of patients; it usually resolves spontaneously without therapy. Rarely, a progressive glomerulonephritis will develop. In adults, presenting symptoms are most frequently related to the skin and joints, while initial complaints related to the gut are less common. Although certain studies have found that renal disease is more frequent and more severe in adults, this has not been a consistent finding. However, the course of renal disease in adults may be more insidious and thus requires close follow-up. Myocardial involvement can occur in adults but is rare in children.
Laboratory studies generally show a mild leukocytosis, a normal platelet count, and occasionally eosinophilia. Serum complement components are normal, and IgA levels are elevated in about one-half of patients.
DIAGNOSIS OF IgA VASCULITIS (HENOCH-SCHONLEIN)
The diagnosis of IgA vasculitis (Henoch-Schönlein) is based on clinical signs and symptoms. Skin biopsy specimen can be useful in confirming leukocytoclastic vasculitis with IgA and C3 deposition by immunofluorescence. Renal biopsy is rarely needed for diagnosis but may provide prognostic information in some patients.
TREATMENT OF IgA VASCULITIS (HENOCH-SCHONLEIN)
TREATMENT IgA Vasculitis (Henoch-Schönlein)
The prognosis of IgA vasculitis ...