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Cutis. 2008 Feb;81(2):131-7.

Adult Henoch-schönlein purpura in a patient with myelodysplastic syndrome and a history of follicular lymphoma.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



To understand Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) to better manage patients with the condition.


Upon completion of this activity, dermatologists and general practitioners should be able to: 1. Describe the criteria for diagnosing HSP. 2. Explain the association of malignancy and HSP. 3. Discuss the prevalence of HSP in adults. Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is a systemic leukocytoclastic vasculitis involving arterioles and venules most commonly in the skin, glomeruli, and gastrointestinal tract. In skin, it is associated with IgA deposition around dermal blood vessels. While an exact cause of HSP has not been elucidated, several processes have been implicated in its development, including infections; drugs; and allergic, rheumatologic, and neoplastic diseases. We present a 57-year-old woman with a history of follicular lymphoma who developed HSP likely associated with myelodysplastic syndrome. This case is clinically significant because the patient was thought to be in remission of her hematologic disease until her skin findings prompted further evaluation. Her diagnosis of HSP was based on clinical presentation with palpable purpura and abdominal pain, and was confirmed with biopsy and immunohistochemical analyses of purpuric papules demonstrating leukocytoclastic vasculitis and strong anti-IgA labeling in the dermal endothelial cells consistent with immunocomplex deposition. The occurrence of vasculitis and malignant disease in the same patient often is difficult to interpret, as some patients may exhibit both diseases independently and by chance, while others may have vasculitis as a paraneoplastic syndrome. We review cases of adult HSP associated with malignancy in the literature.

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