Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 56, Issue 6, pp 1789–1793 | Cite as

Henoch–Schonlein Purpura Leads to Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

  • Miguel Saps
  • Gati Dhroove
  • Ashish Chogle
Original Article



Pain predominant functional gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome may develop as sequelae to acute infectious gastroenteritis. Henoch–Schonlein purpura is a vaculitis that causes an inflammatory insult to the intestinal mucosa.


To assess whether patients with Henoch–Schonlein purpura are more likely to develop functional gastrointestinal disorders in long-term follow-up than controls.

Patients and Methods

Families of children diagnosed with Henoch–Schonlein purpura from 2002 to 2009 were contacted at least 6 months after an acute episode. Parents completed a validated questionnaire to diagnose functional gastrointestinal disorders according to Rome III criteria.


Thirty-eight patients (mean 9.9 years, range 3–22 years, 19 males) and 38 controls (mean 9.5 years, range 1–24 years, 21 males) were recruited. Of the patients, 81% had abdominal pain with Henoch–Schonlein purpura presentation. Initial abdominal pain had resolved in all cases. At the time of study, 60.5% patients and 2.6% controls had abdominal pain. Children in Henoch–Schonlein purpura group were diagnosed with various functional gastrointestinal disorders: Irritable bowel syndrome in 11%, functional abdominal pain syndrome in 8%, and functional abdominal pain in 2.8%. Steroid usage was associated with higher incidence of abdominal pain (87.5%) at the time of the study as compared to no steroid usage (40.9%), p = 0.0065.


Patients with Henoch–Schonlein purpura are at an increased risk of developing pain predominant functional gastrointestinal disorders. The presence of abdominal pain and use of steroids at presentation of Henoch–Schonlein purpura are associated with higher incidence of pain predominant functional gastrointestinal disorders.


Henoch–Schonlein purpura Post-infectious functional gastrointestinal disorder Pain predominant functional gastrointestinal disorder Irritable bowel syndrome Functional abdominal pain Functional abdominal pain syndrome 



Henoch–Schonlein purpura


Questionnaire on Pediatric Gastrointestinal Symptoms


Abdominal pain


Functional gastrointestinal disorder


Post-infectious functional gastrointestinal disorder


Pain predominant functional gastrointestinal disorder


Irritable bowel syndrome


Functional abdominal pain


Functional abdominal pain syndrome


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, Gastrointestinal Motility and Functional Bowel Disorders Program, Children’s Memorial HospitalNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

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