Treatment of Henoch-Schönlein purpura nephritis in children with tonsillectomy

Mika Adachi, Sachiko Matsutani

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Henoch-Schönlein purpura nephritis (HSPN) is an important complication of Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP). Pathological findings in the kidney are similar to those for IgA nephritis, which is characterized by the deposition of IgA immune complex in the glomerular mesangium. Since a tonsillectomy is useful for IgA nephritis, this procedure holds great promise for the treatment HSPN. In the present study, we assessed the effectiveness of a tonsillectomy in children with HSPN whose conditions could not be controlled by medication, including predonisone and cyclophosphamide. Seven patients (four boys and three girls) with histologically well-defined HSPN who had undergone a tonsillectomy between 1998 and 2000 and who had been followed for more than 6 postoperative months were retrospectively examined. The age of the patients ranged between 3 and 13 years (average, 7.6 ± 3.2years) at the time of operation. Postoperative changes in urinary data were assessed according in the severity of the pathological findings in the kidney and the patient's clinical condition. The severity of the pathological findings in the kidney was determined based on the classification of the International Study of Kidney Disease (ISKDC) and the Index of Glomeruler Lesion (IGL). All patients examined in the present study had an ISKDC classification of over grade II. One patient had a grade IV classification, 3 had a grade III classification, and 3 had a grade II classification. The patients were placed in one of five clinical groups: 1) nephritic-nephrotic syndrome, 2) acute nephritic syndrome. 3) nephritic syndrome, 4) over 1g/day of proteinuria without hypoalbuminemia or oedema, or 5) below 1g/day of proteinuria with or without hematuria. One patient was classified in group 1, 1 was group classified in 2, 2 were classified in group 3, 2 were classified in group 4 and 1 was classified in group 5. The mean observation period was 74 ± 6.4 months. The hematuria and proteinuria resolved in all patients, regardless of their preoperative pathological or clinical severity, within 12 postoperative months. During the observation period, no relapse was observed. Moreover, all medication, including steroid use, was stopped within the observation period. Therefore, a tonsillectomy was considered to be effective for the treatment of children with HSPN whose conditions cannot be controlled using medication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696-702
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Otolaryngology of Japan
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Clinical study
  • Henoch-Schönlein purpura nephritis
  • IgA nephritis
  • Tonsillectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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