Gastrointestinal manifestation and outcome of Henoch-Schonlein purpura in children

Chang Gung Med J. 2000 Mar;23(3):135-41.


Background: We reviewed the clinical and laboratory manifestations and analyzed the outcome in children with Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) and gastrointestinal involvement.

Methods: The medical records of 158 children who had Henoch-Schönlein purpura with gastrointestinal (GI) involvement admitted to our institution from June 1987 to December 1998 were reviewed. We retrospectively analyzed their demographic features, clinical manifestations, and outcome.

Results: Totally 104 boys and 54 girls (male: female = 1.9:1) were enrolled in this study, with a mean age of diagnosis of 5.8+/-4.8 years (range: 2 to 13 years). Sixty-three (40%) of our patients had preceding upper respiratory tract infection. The main GI manifestations included abdominal pain (88%); GI bleeding (75%), and vomiting (25%). Bowel edema was found in 71% of examined patients. Upper GI endoscopy provided supportive evidence of HSP in 58% of patients examined. Five patients were found to have marked jejunal edema with bowel collapse leading to severe intestinal obstruction. Thirteen patients (8.2%) had emergent complications including massive blood loss from GI tract in 4, seizure in 2, severe hypoalbuminemia in 2, and emergent surgical condition in 6. Twenty-one patients (13%) experienced prolonged hospitalization (> or =10 days). Bilious vomiting, hematemesis, leukocytosis (>20000/cmm), high C-reactive protein (>50 mg/l), and hemorrhagic erosive duodenitis were found to correlate with prolonged hospitalization. Fourteen (20%) of 70 patients who received follow-up for more than 5 years experienced GI recurrence of HSP.

Conclusion: Despite severe and protracted GI symptoms in some HSP patients, the overall prognosis of GI involvement in children with HSP remains good.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Purpura, Schoenlein-Henoch / complications*
  • Retrospective Studies