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Genetic susceptibility of Henoch-Schönlein purpura in children


Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is a small vessel vasculitis typically observed in children, 3-10 years old. The aetiology is unclear. Interaction of several environmental factors, including infections and multiple genes has been proposed to play a role in pathogenesis. An increased familial occurrence is an indicator of genetic predisposition; association with a major histocompatibility complex is plausible. The aim of the study was to investigate the association of HLA-DRB1 (HLA class II antigen) with HSP.

Subjects and methods

The study was prospective and hospital based. Patients up to the age of 14 years, who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria of HSP, laid by the ‘European League Against Rheumatism’ were enrolled. Age matched healthy controls were included as well. One ml blood in EDTA was collected from patients as well as controls. DNA extraction was performed using commercially available kit. The quantity and quality of DNA was estimated by spectrophotometer and PCR for housekeeping gene beta actin, respectively. PCR with 24 sequence specific primers for HLA-DRB1 antigen was performed. Commercially available HLA-DR tissue typing kit (Inno-train, Kronberg im Taunus, Hesse, Germany) was utilized. Frequency of HLA-DRB1 was correlated with gastrointestinal and renal involvement.


The study included 43 patients and 53 controls. The mean age of the patients and controls was 8.5 years (range: 3-14) and 7.4 years (range: 1-14), respectively. Frequency of HLA-DRB1*11 was significantly increased in patients (p=0.006). A greater gastrointestinal (p=0.03) as well as renal (p=0.004) involvement was observed in patients with HLA-DRB1*11.


This is the first study from India to report the HLA susceptibility genes in children with HSP. Presence of HLA-DRB1*11 was observed to predispose to HSP in children, as well as for greater likelihood of gastrointestinal and renal involvement.

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Correspondence to Ritu Aggarwal.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Aggarwal, R., Gupta, A., Naru, J. et al. Genetic susceptibility of Henoch-Schönlein purpura in children. Mol Cytogenet 7 (Suppl 1), P65 (2014).

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  • Major Histocompatibility Complex
  • Vasculitis
  • Purpura
  • Small Vessel
  • Genetic Predisposition