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Henoch–Schönlein purpura in childhood: treatment and prognosis. Analysis of 425 cases over a 5-year period

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The objective of this study was to identify the most effective treatment by evaluating the different therapies used to treat mild, moderate, and severe Henoch–Schönlein purpura (HSP) patients. We performed a retrospective study of children discharged with a diagnosis of HSP. The study group consisted of 425 children divided into mild, moderate, and severe condition groups. Different therapeutic protocols of hydrocortisone sodium succinate (HCSS) therapy, methylprednisolone (MP) pulse therapy, and MP combination with tripterygium glycoside (TG) therapy were used to treat the different groups. The evaluation of curative effect was performed. After 4 weeks, all patients with no obvious recovery were treated by strengthening the different treatment intervention. The remission time of skin, joint, and gastrointestinal manifestations was evaluated, and the results of the follow-up were analyzed (remission time of proteinuria, relapse, and side effects of therapy). After 4 weeks, in the mild group, the difference of the curative effect between HCSS and MP therapy was not statistically significant. Moderate HSP patients were more likely to respond to MP therapy than HCSS therapy (P < 0.05). Severe HSP patients were more likely to respond to MP combination with TG than single MP therapy (P < 0.05). At last follow-up, they all had normal urinalysis. In the moderate HSP group, the mean duration of proteinuria was shorter in the MP pulse therapy group than in the HCSS therapy group (P < 0.05). In the mild group, the mean duration of purpura was shorter in HCSS therapy group than in the MP pulse therapy group (P < 0.05). At last follow-up, 99 patients had recurrences of purpura and/or proteinuria and 41 patients had liver functional impairment and/or hypertension. The relapse and side effects were all satisfactorily controlled, and the rates of relapse and side effects did not differ between groups with different therapies (P > 0.05). Our study has demonstrated a superior effect for HCSS therapy in patients with mild HSP disease, for MP therapy in patients with moderate disease, and for MP combined with TG therapy in patients with severe disease. MP therapy administered initially reduces the duration of urinary protein abnormality. The therapeutic protocols did not increase the risk of relapse and were safe.

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Correspondence to Ling Lu.

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Deng, F., Lu, L., Zhang, Q. et al. Henoch–Schönlein purpura in childhood: treatment and prognosis. Analysis of 425 cases over a 5-year period. Clin Rheumatol 29, 369–374 (2010).

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