• Users Online: 830
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

  Table of Contents  
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 85-86  

Koebners phenomenon in Henoch-Schonlein purpura

Department of Dermatology, Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Sattur, Dharwad, India

Date of Web Publication30-Jan-2014

Correspondence Address:
Kikkeri Narayanasetty Naveen
Department of Dermatology, No 10, Skin OPD, Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Sattur, Dharwad - 580 009
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5178.126047

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Naveen KN, Pai VV, Raju K. Koebners phenomenon in Henoch-Schonlein purpura. Indian Dermatol Online J 2014;5:85-6

How to cite this URL:
Naveen KN, Pai VV, Raju K. Koebners phenomenon in Henoch-Schonlein purpura. Indian Dermatol Online J [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Jan 26];5:85-6. Available from: https://www.idoj.in/text.asp?2014/5/1/85/126047


A 36-year-old male presented with red rash over both legs since four days. Since 20 years he has been getting similar lesions. Every year it usually starts in the beginning of summer season and resolves after taking treatment. He had history of abdominal pain and fever in the previous episodes. Now since four days he got lesions on lower limbs, which started as few red raised lesions around ankle and gradually increased in size and number to involve entire limbs and lower part of trunk. There was no history of sore throat or ingestion of any medications. He had history of renal stones.

On examination patient had multiple palpable purpuric papules and plaques on both lower limbs [Figure 1] extending upto the trunk. In the lumbar region, he had palpable purpura arranged in two horizontal and two vertical lines [Figure 2], indicating koebners phenomenon. As with the abdomen, there was no tenderness.
Figure 1: Multiple palpable purpura over lower limbs

Click here to view
Figure 2: Purpura along the lines of scratch

Click here to view

Biopsy from the lesion revealed dense mixed inflammatory cell infiltrate composed of lymphocytes, neutrophils and few eosinophils around the blood vessels. The vessel wall showed neutrophilic infiltrate, fibrinoid necrosis and nuclear dust. The endothelial cells were plump. Direct immunofloresence showed focal weak IgA and C3 deposition on the blood vessel wall [Figure 3]. The features suggested a diagnosis of Henoch Schonlein purpura.
Figure 3: Direct immunofloresence showing focal weak IgA and C3 deposition on the blood vessel wall

Click here to view

The patient was started on systemic steroids and the lesions resolved completely.

   Discussion Top

Originally described as a tetrad of palpable purpura, arthritis, gastrointestinal involvement and renal glomerular involvement, Henoch-Schonlein Purpura is defined by the Chapel Hill Consensus Conference as a vasculitis affecting small vessels, involving deposition of IgA immune complexes that characteristically involves the skin, gastrointestinal system and glomeruli with or without arthralgia or arthritis.[1]

Here we describe Koebner's phenomenon in a case of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura, which has been rarely reported in the literature.

Heberden first described Henoch-Schonlein Purpura HSP in 1801, in a young boy with abdominal pain, emesis, bloody stools, arthritis and a purpuric eruption. The eponymous term Henoch-Schonlein purpura was later applied after Johann Schonlein and Eduard Henoch described features of the vasculitis in the mid-19 th century. [1]

HSP commonly occur in childhood. The commonest clinical feature is palpable purpura involving lower limbs and buttock, but may appear on other parts of the body. Gastrointestinal manifestations occur as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation and passage of blood in the stools and rarely bowel intussusception. Most patients have polyarthralgia without frank arthritis. The most important manifestation of HSP is renal involvement, which usually produces protienuria, hematuria and red blood cell casts. [2] This condition is precipitated by a variety of agents including viral, bacterial, infections, drugs, certain foods, toxins and insects. Seasonal outbreaks have been described. [1] In our patients, there was classical presentation with childhood onset and seasonal outbreaks.

HSP is a clinical diagnosis, with confirmation by direct immunofluorescence and routine histology. Perivascular IgA deposits are characteristic of HSP and can help to distinguish it from other vasculitides. [1] In our case, Direct immunoflouresence and biopsy findings are very much consistent with the diagnosis of HSP.

Koebner's or isomorphic phenomenon is occurrence of clinically similar lesions on uninvolved skin along sites of trauma in patients with pre-existing dermatosis. Koebners' phenomenon has been reported in a variety of dermatoses. [3] There are only two case reports of koebners phenomenon in HSP. [4],[5] Nischal et al., reported a case of koebners phenomenon in HSP over the pressure area. [5] Because of the paucity of reports, Boyd and Nelder have classified HSP as a questionable isomorphic phenomenon. [6] Unlike previous reports where koebners phenomenon occurred over pressure area, in this case it occurred along the line of scratching.

The exact pathomechanism of koebners phenomenon in HSP has not been elucidated. Namazi [7] reported that increase of tryptase levels following trauma could be the cause of Koebner phenomenon seen in psoriasis and Naukkarinen et al. [8] also showed that mast cell tryptase and chymase are potential regulators of neurogenic inflammation in psoriatic skin. Therefore, tryptase may play an important role in the pathogenesis of the Koebner phenomenon. [9] Although not extensively studied in vasculitis, recent studies showed that immuno-enzyme-histological staining of tryptase (a marker for mast cell activation) was found in cutaneous allergic vasculitis [10] or HSP nephritis. [11]

Our case, together with the previous reports [4],[5] establishes the presence of koebners phenomenon in Henoch Schonien purpura. Therefore, further studies should be performed to elucidate the relationship between mast cell activation and the Koebner phenomenon in the acute stage of HSP.

   Acknowledgment Top

We like to thank department of dermatology, Kasturba hospital, manipal for providing direct immunofluorescence report and immunofloresence photomicrograph.

   References Top

1.Cox NH, Jorizzo JL, Bourke JF, Savage CO. Vasculitis, Neutrophilic dermatosis and related disorders. In: Burns T, Breathnach S, Cox N, Griffiths C, editors. Rook's textbook of dermatology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell; 2010. p. 50.19-50.21  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Bandyopadhyay D. Pupura, vasculitis, and neutrophilic dermatoses. In: Valia RG, Valia AR, editors. IADVL Textbook of dermatology. 3 rd ed. Mumbai: Bhalani Publishing House; 2010. p. 696.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Thappa DM. The isomorphic phenomenon of Koebner. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2004;70:187-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
4.Green ST, Natarajan S. The Koebner phenomenon in anaphylactoid purpura. Cutis 1986;38:56-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Nischal KC, Uday K, Urmila B. Koebner's phenomenon in Henoch Schoenlein purpura and role of pressure in its causation. Dermatol Online J 2007;13:26.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Boyd AS, Neldner KH. The isomorphic response of Koebner. Int J Dermatol 1990;29:401-10.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Namazi MR. Possible molecular mechanisms to account for the involvement of tryptase in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. Autoimmunity 2005;38449-52.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Naukkarinen A, Harvima IT, Aalto ML, Horsmanheimo M. Mast cell tryptase and chymase are potential regulators of neurogenic inflammation in psoriatic skin. Int J Dermatol 1994;33:361-6.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Shin J, Lee JS What is the mechanism of Koebner phenomenon in Henoch-Schönlein purpua? Dermatol Online J 2008;14:17.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Inamura H, Igarashi Y, Kashiwase Y, Morioka J, Suzuki K, Kurosawa M. Mast cells in cutaneous allergic vasculitis: A case report. Allergol Int 2006;55:343-5.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Chen Y, Zhou JH, Wu HS, Wang HW. Role of mast cells and eosinophil cationic protein in the pathogenesis of Henoch-Schonlein purpura nephritis. Zhonghua Er Ke Za Zhi 2006;44:407-10.  Back to cited text no. 11


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

This article has been cited by
1 Koebner Phenomenon in a Young Boy With Henoch-Schönlein Purpura
Ankur Kumar Jindal,Anju Gupta,Ranjana W. Minz
JCR: Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. 2017; 23(5): 290
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Koebneræs Phenomenon in Childhood Henoch-Schönlein Purpura: A Report of Two Cases
Shreya Sharma,Venkatesh Chandrasekaran,Sriram Krishnamurthy,Suresh Mekala,Subramanian Mahadevan
Pediatric Dermatology. 2016;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded247    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 2    

Recommend this journal