An unusual cause of cervical lymphadenitis: Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease

Rev Infect Dis. Sep-Oct 1991;13(5):823-5. doi: 10.1093/clinids/13.5.823.


Cervical lymphadenitis may be the result of diverse conditions in a patient. Clinical and epidemiologic information about cervical lymphadenitis can often lead to a presumptive diagnosis and, thus, limit the number of studies required as well as direct the type of initial therapy administered. We report a case of cervical lymphadenitis in a Vietnamese woman for whom a presumptive diagnosis of tuberculosis was made and antituberculous therapy was started. Pathologic examination of an excised lymph node revealed the correct diagnosis--histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis, or Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease. We review the clinical, epidemiologic, and pathologic features of this recently recognized disease. Careful examination of excised material from the lymph nodes should prevent patients who have Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease from receiving unnecessary treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Histiocytes / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology*
  • Lymphadenitis / etiology*
  • Lymphadenitis / pathology
  • Neck
  • Necrosis
  • Tuberculosis, Lymph Node / diagnosis*