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, 128 (5), 650-3

Kikuchi's Disease: A Review and Analysis of 61 Cases


Kikuchi's Disease: A Review and Analysis of 61 Cases

Hsin-Ching Lin et al. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg.


Objective: Kikuchi's disease (KD), or histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis, is a rare self-limiting disorder that typically affects the cervical lymph nodes. It has occasionally been misdiagnosed as malignant lymphoma or another serious diseases; hence, clinicians should be made more aware of this disease.

Methods: From January 1986 to January 2001, a series of 61 patients who underwent a biopsy of a cervical lymph node and proved histologically to have KD were enrolled in this study. We retrospectively reviewed the clinical records and pathologic parameters of each patient. The patients were followed up from 6 months to 14.3 years (mean, 6.9 years).

Results: There were 34 women and 27 men (1.26:1 ratio; age range, 6 to 46 years; mean age, 21 years). The affected cervical lymph nodes were commonly located in the posterior cervical triangle (54 of 61, or 88.5%). Unilateral and bilateral cervical lymph nodes were affected in 54 and 7 patients, respectively. The dimensions of affected lymph nodes were commonly in the range of 0.5 to 4 cm (57 of 61, or 93.4%). In 2 patients, the size of the enlarged lymph nodes was greater than 6 cm. Leukopenia was observed in 14 patients (23%); fever, in 18 patients (29.5%). Five patients had a past history of tuberculosis. Two patients developed systemic lupus erythematosus, 1 month and 5 years later, respectively. The cervical lymphadenopathy usually resolved without any medical treatment within 6 months after definite diagnosis was made. In 3 patients, the enlarged lymph nodes eventually disappeared after more than 1 year. No recurrence has since been noted.

Conclusion: The results of this study support the theory that KD is a self-limiting disorder that does not require any specific management. The female predominance was not as striking as in the studies performed in Western countries. We suggest that the patients with KD require a systemic survey and regular follow-up for several years; 2 of our patients developed systemic lupus erythematosus. An effective communication between the otolaryngologist and pathologist is needed because the clinical and pathologic characteristics of KD are essential in making an accurate diagnosis.

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