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Hypersensitivity vasculitis in children

Authors
David Cabral, MBBS, FRCPC
Kimberly Morishita, MD, MHSc, FRCPC
Section Editor
Robert Sundel, MD
Deputy Editor
Elizabeth TePas, MD, MS

INTRODUCTION

The term "hypersensitivity vasculitis" refers to a vasculitis of small blood vessels of the skin that is secondary to an immune response or hypersensitivity reaction to an often unidentifiable exogenous substance. Names often used interchangeably, but controversially, have included drug-induced vasculitis, cutaneous leukocytoclastic vasculitis, cutaneous small-vessel vasculitis, serum sickness, and allergic vasculitis.

Serum sickness and serum sickness-like reactions share clinical and pathologic features with hypersensitivity vasculitis; however, many cases do not have actual vascular inflammation. Serum sickness and serum sickness-like disorders are presented separately. (See "Serum sickness and serum sickness-like reactions".)

Hypersensitivity vasculitis in children, including the clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment, is reviewed here.

DEFINITION

There are no pediatric-specific classification criteria for hypersensitivity vasculitis [1]. All available systems are based upon adult data. The most commonly used system is that of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) [2] (see 'Drugs' below). Children were explicitly excluded when the ACR criteria were proposed in 1990, due to the lack of pediatric data. In the absence of clearly superior alternatives, the ACR criteria are nonetheless commonly used in children.

The ACR criteria for hypersensitivity vasculitis are as follows:

                  

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Wed Apr 29 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2015.
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