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April 1997

What Is Schönlein-Henoch Purpura, and Why Should We Care?

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology University of Iowa College of Medicine Iowa City, IA 52242

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(4):515-518. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890400121019

THE STUDY by Tancrede-Bohin et al1 in this issue of the Archives provides an impetus to urge closer collaboration with our nondermatologic colleagues who are working on the puzzle of vasculitis. The Chapel Hill Consensus Group, Chapel Hill, NC, and the American College of Rheumatology have provided the most prominent current classifications of primary systemic vasculitides.2-4 Many vasculitic syndromes may present in the skin, while others may be diagnosed by use of the clinical and histological pattern of cutaneous disease that is taken in context with systemic findings. It is unfortunate that neither working group included dermatologists. As a result, many dermatologists who are experts in the field of vasculitic syndromes have reservations about aspects of both classification systems.

Traditionally, Schönlein-Henoch purpura (SHP) is defined by palpable purpura, arthralgia, gastrointestinal signs and symptoms, and glomerulonephritis.5-8 Frequently characterized as a syndrome of a single episode, SHP has in fact a remarkable tendency to recur