Gastrointestinal Manifestations and Complications of Henoch-Schönlein Purpura

Shih Yann Chen, Man Shan Kong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Background: Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is a systemic vasculitic disorder common ly affecting young children. Gastrointestinal (GI) involvement is frequently seen, and it varies from mild symptoms to severe complications. Methods: In the 5 years from July 1995 to June 2000, 208 children were diagnosed with HSP in our hospital. There were 116 males and 92 females with ages ranging from 9 months to 15 years (mean, 6.4 years; median, 5.5 years). Their medical records were reviewed. We focused on their gastrointestinal manifestations and complications. The hospital course and management of these patients were also analyzed. Results: GI manifestations were present in 162 cases (77.8%), and among them the most common presentation was colicky abdominal pain in 159 cases (98.1%), followed by vomiting in 64 cases (39.5%). Severe complications included massive GI bleeding in 5 patients, intussusception in 1, protein-losing enteropathy in 1, and a patient with pancreatitis. GI symptoms occurred before the manifestation of skin lesions in 41 patients (25.3%). Five of them underwent a laparotomy. Four cases were operated on due to suspicion of acute appendicitis or peritonitis. Another patient had an emergent operation due to ileo-ileo intussusception. Conclusions: GI manifestations of HSP are common. Colicky abdominal pain was the most common GI manifestation of Henoch-Schönlein purpura. Some patients may have GI complications, but those requiring surgical intervention in our study were rare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-181
Number of pages7
JournalChang Gung Medical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 03 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaphylactoid purpura
  • Children
  • Complications
  • Gastrointestinal manifestations
  • Henoch-Schönlein purpura


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