Q:

What causes HSP disease in children?

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Quick Answer

As of 2015, Henoch-Schonlein Purpura, or HSP, has no known cause, according to KidsHealth. However, doctors have determined that it is connected to a type of antibody called immunoglobulin A, which is deposited into the blood vessels and may be linked to their inflammation.

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Full Answer

HSP is a condition that creates inflammation and swelling in small blood vessels, explains KidsHealth. This swelling leads to a leaking of red blood cells, which causes fever, headaches and a rash-like appearance on the body, joint and abdominal pain. The trigger of the inflammation, in many cases, is a viral or bacterial infection in the upper respiratory tract. Other triggers can be insect bites, certain medications and reactions to foods, although this is less common.

Most children diagnosed with HSP recover in about a month, often without treatment, notes KidsHealth. If treatment is necessary, doctors can prescribe painkillers, antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medication. If a child complains of abdominal pain, which is common, doctors may request an additional test to check for kidney disease. HSP has the potential to cause kidney damage, which may need to be monitored over several months. If a child refuses to eat or drink, has severe abdominal pain, or has an issue with his kidneys, hospitalization may be necessary. It is important to carefully monitor the child and contact a health care professional with any concerns.

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