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Schönlein-Henoch purpura

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A form of anaphylactoid (allergic) or non-thrombopenic purpura which is the most common connective-tissue disorder in children. This syndrome is an allergic reaction to bacteria (especially ß-haemolytic streptococci), food or drugs. It usually presents 1-3 weeks after an upper respiratory tract infection. It is characterized by a puprpuric rash, painful swollen joints, and abdominal pain with vomiting. Occurs mostly in pre school age children, having its greatest frequency in in the early spring and fall and occurring more commonly in males than in females. In adults, there is no special predilection for either sex.

This term may be impresise, as many authors separate it into two different entities: Schönlein-Henoch purpura and Schönlein's disease. The eponym Schönlein's is sometimes used in place of the term Schönlein-Henoch when the rheumatoid pain and cutaneous lesions are predominant.

The disease picture was known as early as in the 18th century by the term Heberden-Willan disease. First described 1802 by William Heberden.

Johann Schönlein described the condition as an entity in 1837; Eduard Heinrich Henoch in 1868 reported the first case of a patient with colic, bloody diarrhea, painful joints, and a rash. Osler in 1914 was the first to suggest the relationship of the condition to allergy. A particular form is Purpura Seidlmayer, named for Hubert Seidlmayer, German paediatrician; 1910-1965.


  • W. Heberden:
    Commentaries on the History and Cure of Diseases.
    Chapter 78: De purpureis maculis. London, 1802.
  • J. L. Schönlein:
    Allgemeine und specielle Pathologie und Therapie. Nach seinen Vorlesungen niedergeschrieben von einigen seiner Zuhörer und nicht autorisiert herausgegeben.
    Würzburg, Etlinger, 1832. Peliosis rheumatica.
    Allgemeine und spezielle Pathologie und Therapie, 5th edition, St. Gallen, 1841, 2 volumes, page 41.
  • E. Henoch:
    Über den Zusammenhang von Purpura und Intestinalstörungen.
    Berliner Klinische Wochenschrift, 1868; 5: 517-519. Über eine eigentümliche Form von Purpura.
    Berliner klinische Wochenschrift, 1874; 11: 641.

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