Henoch-Schonlein purpura or HSP is defined by inflammation and leaking of the blood vessels in the intestines, joints, kidneys, and skin. It is a form of vasculitis, a broad diagnosis referring to any condition that affects the vascular system -- the body's blood vessels. White blood cells produce antibodies, which should protect the body from illness. In people with Henoch-Schonlein purpura, however, an abnormal immune response occurs, and the antibody immunoglobulin A is atypically deposited in the walls of the blood vessels. Essentially, the antibody attacks the vascular system.
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