How is Henoch-Schönlein purpura (IgA vasculitis) diagnosed?

Updated: Oct 28, 2020
  • Author: Rajendra Bhimma, MBChB, MD, PhD, DCH (SA), FCP(Paeds)(SA), MMed(Natal); Chief Editor: Craig B Langman, MD  more...
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Answer

Diagnosis of IgA vasculitis (IgAV; Henoch-Schönlein purpura) is clinical and is not based on laboratory evaluation. Routine laboratory test results are usually within reference ranges. Some laboratory studies help in excluding other diagnoses and in evaluating renal function, including the following:

  • Urinalysis
  • Complete blood count (CBC) with platelet count and differential
  • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) level
  • Creatinine level
  • Prothrombin time (PT)
  • Activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT)
  • Lipase level 

Some experts consider that imaging studies are indicated only if the diagnosis is uncertain. Kidney biopsy may be helpful in selected cases.


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