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Volume 7, Pages 20-30
Review Article

Therapy for Children with Henoch-Schonlein Purpura Nephritis: A Systematic Review

1Department of Paediatrics, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
2Transfusion Service, Verona Hospital, Verona, Italy

Received 25 September 2006; Revised 15 December 2006; Accepted 20 December 2006

Academic Editor: Patricia Vallés

Copyright © 2007 Marco Zaffanello et al.


Although severe kidney involvement in children with Henoch-Shonlein purpura (HSP) is rarer than that in adults, morbidity should not be underevaluated and follow-up is mandatory. Some drugs are introduced as well-defined treatment options, others can be promising therapeutic alternatives.

Therapy of HSP nephritis in children can range from simply steroids to combined immunosuppressant treatments. The prophylactic treatment for renal complication of patients with HSP has been sometimes suggested, but with conflicting results and ultimately not clearly proven. The treatment of overt HSP nephritis includes steroids and other immunosuppressant drugs. Methylprednisolone pulse therapy and prednisone per os are tested drugs. These steroids could be used in combination with other immunosuppressant drugs, such as cyclosporin A and cyclophosphamide. Unfortunately, of these two drugs, only cyclophosphamide is demonstrated as effective in a recent randomized controlled trial. However, since there are insufficient data and unstructured study designs, ACE-I, azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil, and urokinase need to be more tested in childhood HSP nephritis. In addition to drugs, other techniques are used to treat the severe form of nephritis. Of these, in a multicenter study, plasmapheresis demonstrated efficacy in delaying the progression of kidney disease. However, no convincing studies have been made to date concerning either intravenous immunoglobulin, factor XIII administration, antioxidant vitamin E, and fish oil to treat HSP nephritis.