Vasculitis in childhood occurs when there is inflammation in the walls of blood vessels. There are several different varieties of vasculitis depending on the size of the blood vessels involved. The two most common types of vasculitis in children are:
The symptoms of HSP—which are indicative of HSP when they appear together—are:
The symptoms of Kawasaki disease include:
To diagnosis vasculitis, your child’s doctor may run one or more of the following tests:
If your child has been diagnosed with vasculitis, seek the guidance of a pediatric rheumatologist who is experienced in treating the condition in children.
The symptoms of HSP often improve on their own within about a month, without long-term effects. Your child’s doctor will likely recommend rest, plenty of fluids and over-the-counter pain medicine. In rare cases when a section of the bowel has folded in on itself or ruptured, your child’s doctor will need to surgically repair this damage.
If your child has Kawasaki disease, the goals of early treatment are to reduce fever and inflammation and to prevent heart damage. This treatment will be administered in the hospital, and your child’s doctor may prescribe:
After your child’s fever goes down, your child’s doctor may recommend that he or she take low-dose aspirin for the next six weeks to reduce the risk of blood clotting, which can be associated with Kawasaki disease. When quickly and properly treated, Kawasaki disease usually runs its course over about eight weeks. Your child’s rheumatologist will likely recommend regular follow-up visits to monitor your child’s heart function and make sure the Kawasaki disease has not caused any long-term complications.
Visit the trusted websites below to learn more about vasculitis in childhood:
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
The American College of Rheumatology provides education and support for patients and families living with vasculitis.
This U.S. National Library of Medicine website shares in-depth information about HSP, including its causes and symptoms.