Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

A diagnosis of Henoch-Schonlein purpura is fairly easy to make if the classic rash, joint pain and gastrointestinal symptoms are present. If some of these signs and symptoms are missing, your doctor may suggest one or more of the following tests.

Lab tests

Although no single test can confirm Henoch-Schonlein purpura, certain tests can help rule out other diseases and make a diagnosis of Henoch-Schonlein seem likely. They may include:

  • Blood tests. People who have Henoch-Schonlein purpura often have abnormal levels of a particular type of antibody in their blood.
  • Urine tests. Your urine may be tested for evidence of blood and to determine if your kidneys are still working properly.

Biopsies

If there are doubts about the rash or if other tests are inconclusive, your doctor may take a small sample of skin to be examined under a microscope. In cases of severe kidney involvement, your doctor may suggest a kidney biopsy to help guide treatment decisions.

Imaging tests

Your doctor may recommend an ultrasound to rule out other causes of abdominal pain and to check for possible complications, such as a bowel obstruction.

Jul. 31, 2013

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