Vasculitis allergica: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Therapy
Vasculitis allergica, also known as Purpura Schoenlein-Enoch, is an inflammation of small and medium vessels in various organ systems, caused by an immune reaction. Preferably in the cold season, the disease usually begins one to three weeks after a previous infection of the upper airways and affects especially children in preschool and school age or adolescents. Even after drug intake, the disease is occasionally observed, which occurs somewhat more frequently in boys than in girls.
Allergic overreaction of the immune system as a cause
Vasculitis allergica is presumably an allergic reaction of the immune system, which can be caused by various foreign proteins (antigens). Usually, these antigens enter the body as components of pathogens, but contact is also possible as a part of medicines or insect venoms.
The immune system reacts with the formation of IgA antibodies, which collide with the antigens into immune complexes. Their deposition in vessel walls triggers the said inflammatory reaction which results in increased permeability of the vessels in different organs. Visible is the occurrence at a point to coin-sized skin bleeding.
Symptoms on different organs
The symptoms of vasculitis allergica can cause symptoms on several organ systems:
- Skin: There are regular irregularities, especially on the sides of the legs and buttocks, mostly symmetrically arranged, reddish-brown, palpable skin bleeding (purpura). The itching patches and papules often flow into each other and can range from a pinhead to coin size.
- Joints: Many children suffer temporarily from painful swelling of the ankles and knee joints and suddenly do not want to run anymore.
- Intestine: Due to inflamed small bowel vessels over half of the children complain of colorectal abdominal pain, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. These complaints are often accompanied by bloody mucus.
- Kidneys: The renal vessels are affected in approximately 30% of the patients, which usually only occurs in the urine after two to three weeks (detection of blood and possibly protein) in the urine (so-called Schoenlein-Henoch nephritis).
The symptoms of Vasculitis allergica usually precede a general feeling of illness and a slight fever.
Disease leads to diagnosis
There is no specific laboratory test as a proof of allergic allergica. However, the doctor can usually make the diagnosis by means of the characteristic skin symptoms associated with previous infection or medication intake. Sometimes it is possible to detect the immune complexes circulating in the blood.
Not infrequently, the symptoms of the intestinal tract precede the skin symptoms, which complicates the diagnosis. An ultrasound examination of the abdomen and examinations of the stool for the detection of blood can be carried out. In addition, repeated urine tests are necessary to identify renal involvement.
Therapy of Vasculitis allergica
In the acute phase of the disease, bed rest is prescribed. In a large part of the patients, the symptoms improve without further treatment. In the case of severe joint complaints, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents are administered for the relief, in the case of an intestinal involvement, treatment is carried out with cortisone preparations.
If there is a renal involvement over a longer period, a tissue sample may provide information on the extent of the injury. Possibly a therapy with drugs for the suppression of the immune system (immunosuppressive drugs) and cortisone is indicated.
Scientifically Proven: Macular Degeneration: Diagnosis, Therapy & Prevention
Healthcare Administrator is a website designed to accompany you through the process of reconstructing your life.