Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is a disorder whose cause and pathogenesis is unknown; some familial cases of this disease have been reported. The clinical heterogeneity in HSP may be conferred by a number of genetic loci, including the major histocompatibility complex. The racial and genetic factors responsible for the occurrence of the familial cases of HSP in Taiwan are unclear. The purpose of this study was to examine the racial and genetic factors in familial HSP cases in Taiwan. We retrospectively collected the HSP cases in our hospital during 2006 through 2010 and observed that familial HSP cases were only in Taroko Aborigines. Six cases of HSP in 3 Taroko families were found, and their human leukocyte antigens (HLA) were studied in the tissue typing laboratory of our hospital, to determine the possible association with familial HSP cases in Taiwanese Aborigines. Our results suggest an increased frequency of familial HSP cases with HLA-A24 in Taiwanese Taroko Aborigines. We concluded that racial and genetic predisposition was the possible cause for the familial occurrence of and renal involvement in HSP in Taiwanese Aborigines.
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