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Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) - Diagnosis and risk factors

Diagnosis|
Your GP may suspect HSP based on your symptoms and medical history. To confirm a diagnosis, you may need to be referred to a hospital doctor for the following tests:
Lab tests
No single test can confirm Henoch-Schonlein purpura, but certain tests can help rule out other diseases and make a diagnosis of Henoch-Schonlein seem likely. They may include:
Blood tests. Your blood may be tested if your diagnosis isn't clear based on your signs and symptoms.
Urine tests. Your urine may be tested for evidence of blood and to determine if your kidneys are still working properly.
Skin Biopsies
People who have Henoch-Schonlein purpura often have deposits of a certain antibody on their skin. Your doctor may take a small sample of skin to be examined under a microscope. In cases of severe kidney involvement, your doctor may suggest a kidney biopsy to help guide treatment decisions.
Imaging tests
Your doctor may recommend an ultrasound to rule out other causes of abdominal pain and to check for possible complications, such as a bowel obstruction.

Risk factors|

Factors that may increase the risk of developing Henoch-Schonlein purpura include:

Age. The disease affects primarily children and young adults, with the majority of cases occurring in children between 2 and 6 years of age.
Gender. Henoch-Schonlein purpura is slightly more common in boys than girls.
Race. White and Asian children are more likely to develop Henoch-Schonlein purpura than are black children.

Season. Henoch-Schonlein purpura strikes mainly in autumn, winter and spring but rarely in summer.

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