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Recurrent Henoch-Schönlein purpura in children.

BACKGROUND: Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP), also known as anaphylactoid purpura is a clinically recognizable systemic disorder occurring in children, mainly from ages 3 to 10 years.

OBJECTIVES: To describe the clinical, epidemiological, and laboratory findings in a group of patients with recurrent HSP, admitted to a tertiary pediatric center.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis of medical records of patients hospitalized due to HSP between 1969 and 2004.

RESULTS: Two hundred sixty children (56.7% males) were hospitalized due to HSP, 7 (2.7%) more than once. There were no statistically significant differences in demographic or clinical characteristics between the patients with 1 event of HSP and patients with recurrence. Mean age of the subgroup with recurrence was 3.67 years (10 months to 7.4 years) at the first episode, and 5.03 years (2.2-10 years) at the second one, with a mean lag period of 13.5 +/- 2.8 months (range 2-26). The duration of the recurrent clinical symptoms ranged from 9 to 30 days, and in 72% of those patients, resolution took more than 14 days.

CONCLUSION: In our inpatient population, no clinical or laboratory characteristics were found to be predictive of recurrence; the second episode was longer than the first and the lag period between the 2 episodes was substantially longer than previously reported. Hospital admissions for recurrent HSP are not common. Nevertheless, a good prognosis was the rule of our admitted patients.

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