Henoch-Schönlein Purpura Nephritis in Children: Incidence, Pathogenesis and Management

World J Pediatr. 2015 Feb;11(1):29-34. doi: 10.1007/s12519-014-0534-5. Epub 2014 Dec 29.


Background: Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is one of the most common vasculitides in children. It is manifested by skin purpura, arthritis, abdominal pain, renal involvement, etc. Typically, HSP is considered to be self-limiting, although renal involvement (HSP purpura nephritis, HSPN) is the principal cause of morbidity from this disease. For this reason, it is important to clarify the mechanism of onset and clinical manifestations of HSPN and to ascertain the most appropriate treatment for HSPN. In this article, we review the updated pathophysiology and treatment strategies for HSPN.

Data sources: We searched databases including PubMed, Elsevier and Wanfang for the following key words: Henoch-Schönlein purpura, nephritis, mechanism and treatment, and we selected those publications written in English that we judged to be relevant to the topic of this review.

Results: Based on the data present in the literature, we reviewed the following topics: 1) the possible pathogenesis of HSPN: several studies suggest that immunoglobulin A immune complexes deposit in the mesangium and induce renal injury; 2) multiple-drug treatment for HSPN: although there have been few evidence-based treatment strategies for HSPN, several studies have suggested that immunosuppressive drugs and multiple drug combination therapy were effective in ameliorating proteinuria and histological severity.

Conclusions: HSPN is a severe disease of childhood. To better understand this disease, detailed investigations into the pathogenesis of HSPN and prospective randomized controlled treatment studies on children with severe HSPN are needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Nephritis / etiology
  • Nephritis / pathology
  • Nephritis / physiopathology*
  • Nephritis / therapy*
  • Purpura, Schoenlein-Henoch / complications
  • Purpura, Schoenlein-Henoch / pathology
  • Purpura, Schoenlein-Henoch / physiopathology*
  • Purpura, Schoenlein-Henoch / therapy*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents