Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 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.

Similar articles

  • Kikuchi's Disease in Asian Children
    HC Lin et al. Pediatrics 115 (1), e92-6. PMID 15629971.
    KD, although rare, should be part of the differential diagnosis for posterior cervical lymphadenopathy in children, especially in patients of Asian descent. In our pediat …
  • Clinical Manifestations of Kikuchi's Disease in Southern Taiwan
    HL Yu et al. J Microbiol Immunol Infect 38 (1), 35-40. PMID 15692625.
    Histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis, or Kikuchi's disease (KD), is a self-limiting cervical lymphadenitis of unknown origin. The diagnosis of KD is problematic due to t …
  • A Rare Case of Kikuchi's Disease of the Cervical Lymph Node
    A Trivedi et al. J Indian Med Assoc 110 (1), 46-7. PMID 23029831. - Case Reports
    Kikuchi's disease, or histiocytic necrotising lymphadenitis, is an uncommon and unique form of self-limiting lymphadenitis and typically affects the head and neck regions …
  • Kikuchi's Disease (Histiocytic Necrotizing Lymphadenitis): Report of One Case
    CH Lien et al. Acta Paediatr Taiwan 40 (5), 344-7. PMID 10910547. - Review
    Kikuchi's disease (histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis) is a self-limited disease of unknown cause. The disease often presents with persistently intermittent fever and …
  • Kikuchi's Disease: Report of 2 Cases and a Brief Review of the Literature
    JI Aguiar et al. Braz J Infect Dis 4 (4), 208-11. PMID 11008225. - Review
    Kikuchi's lymphadenitis is a histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis without granulocytic infiltration, with fever and generally with a benign course, despite its pathologi …
See all similar articles

Cited by 42 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources