Allergic purpura is also known as Henoch-Schonlein purpura. This is an inflammatory condition that affects the small blood vessels. It leads to sudden bleeding in the skin and the intestines. It also affects the joints and the kidneys. This disorder is most common in boys, ages 2-8.
Causes of Purpura, Allergic
Allergic purpura or Henoch-Schonlein purpura is caused by an autoimmune response. Antibodies are deposited in the small blood vessels throughout the body. This leads to inflammation of the vessels and the varcharacteristic skin lesions mainly involved the legs and buttocks. The allergic trigger is not known, but attacks frequently follow an upper-respiratory infection or the use of some drugs, especially sulfa drugs. The symptoms usually disappear within 2-6 weeks. Occasionally, they may reoccur within the first year. A very small percentage of people will go on to develop chronic renal failure.
Signs and Symptoms of Purpura, Allergic
Allergic purpura often follows another infection, such as a cold or sore throat. A rash composed of raised purple lesions develops. The rash may be preceded by itching and tends to develop most commonly on the legs, thighs and lower abdomen. Other areas of the body may be affected. Involvement of the joints leads to joint pain and swelling, most commonly in the knees and ankles. Intermittent episodes of abdominal discomfort or pain may occur. Fever may develop. Blood in the urine or blood in stool may develop.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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