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A Case of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura Associated with Rotavirus Infection in an Elderly Asian Male and Review of the Literature

Chen Tang, Daphne Scaramangas-Plumley, Cynthia C. Nast, Zab Mosenifar, Marc A. Edelstein, Michael Weisman

(Department of Internal Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, USA)

Am J Case Rep 2017; 18:136-142

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.901978

Published: 2017-02-08

BACKGROUND: Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP), a small vessel vasculitis mediated by deposition of immune-complexes containing IgA in the skin, gut, and glomeruli, often presents with abdominal pain, purpuric rash in the lower extremities and buttocks, joint pain, and hematuria. The disease most commonly targets children but can affect adults who tend to have a worse prognosis.
CASE REPORT: We discuss a case of HSP in an elderly Chinese male who presented with severe proximal bowel inflammation, vasculitic rash, and proteinuria; he was found to have positive stool rotavirus and giardia. He improved significantly with high dose steroids. We believe rotavirus may have been a triggering event in this patient. A brief review of the literature is also presented.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first case report describing a classic presentation of HSP in an adult following a rotavirus infection. HSP can cause significant morbidity and mortality in adult patients predominantly from progressive renal failure; therefore careful management and monitoring is important. GI infections seem to be a common trigger for HSP and this case report suggests that rotavirus may be part of the spectrum.

Keywords: Autoimmune Diseases, Gastrointestinal tract, Purpura, Schoenlein-Henoch, Rotavirus Infections, Rotavirus Vaccines, Vasculitis