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Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011 Mar;6(3):679-89. doi: 10.2215/CJN.06710810. Epub 2011 Mar 10.

Henoch-Schonlein purpura nephritis: pathophysiology, treatment, and future strategy.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Emma Children's Hospital-Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Henoch-Schönlein purpura nephritis is a rare kidney disease leading to chronic kidney disease in a non-negligible percentage of patients. Although retrospective studies suggest beneficial effects of some therapies, prospective randomized clinical trials proving treatment efficacy are still lacking. The dilemma of spontaneous recovery even in patients with severe clinical and histologic presentation and of late evolution to chronic kidney disease in patients with mild initial symptoms renders it difficult for clinicians to expose patients to treatment protocols that are not evidence-based. A better understanding of the pathophysiology of progression to chronic kidney disease in Henoch-Schönlein purpura patients could be achieved by designing prospective international multicenter studies looking at determinants of clinical and histopathological evolution as well as possible circulating and urinary markers of progression. Such studies should be supported by a database available on the web and a new histologic classification of kidney lesions. This paper reports clinical, pathologic, and experimental data to be used for this strategy and to assist clinicians and clinical trial designers to reach therapeutic decisions.

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