ComplicationsBy Mayo Clinic staff
For most people, symptoms of Henoch-Schonlein purpura improve in a few weeks, leaving no lasting problems. Recurrences are fairly common, however. Children who have severe symptoms appear more likely to have a recurrence, but repeat bouts are usually milder than the initial episode.
The most serious complication of Henoch-Schonlein purpura is kidney damage, which can cause blood in the urine, swelling and high blood pressure. Most children with kidney problems recover fully, but in a very small percentage of cases, Henoch-Schonlein purpura leads to end-stage kidney disease. In that case, dialysis or a kidney transplant may be needed. Adults are at greater risk than children of developing end-stage kidney disease.
The long-term outcome for people with Henoch-Schonlein purpura appears to depend on whether they develop kidney problems and how severe those problems are.
In rare cases, Henoch-Schonlein purpura can cause a kind of bowel obstruction (intussusception) that reduces blood flow to the intestinal tract and leads to inflammation of other organs, including the pancreas.
Women who've had Henoch-Schonlein purpura during childhood may be at increased risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy. If you're pregnant and have a history of Henoch-Schonlein purpura, be sure to tell your doctor about it so that you can be monitored appropriately.
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