2013 Volume 59 Issue 1 Pages 15-26
Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is a systemic disorder characterized by leukocytoclastic vasculitis involving the capillaries and the deposition of IgA immune complexes. Renal involvement is the principal cause of morbidity and mortality in children with HSP. Thus, it is important to clarify the onset mechanism as well as the prognostic factors of Henoch-Schönlein purpura nephritis (HSPN) and to identify the most appropriate treatment. We herein review the pathogenesis, the prognostic factors and treatment of HSPN. As to the pathogenesis, several studies suggest that galactose-deficient IgA1 (Gd-IgA1) is recognized by anti-glycan antibodies, leading to the formation of circulating immune complexes and their mesangial deposition, thereby inducing renal injury. With regard to the prognostic factors, a number of factors have been suggested including nephrotic syndrome, decreased factor XIII activity, hypertension, severe renal injury, high renal accumulation of activated macrophage, alpha-smooth muscle actin, and high serum myeloid-related protein levels.
For the treatment of severe HSPN, aggressive therapies including multiple drug combination therapy and plasmapheresis have been shown to be effective in ameliorating proteinuria and histological severity. Nevertheless, detailed investigation into the pathogenesis of HSPN and double-blind randomized control studies on children with HSPN are still necessary.