Kikuchi-Fujimoto Disease in Children: An Important Diagnostic Consideration for Cervical Lymphadenitis

Pediatr Ann. 2019 Oct 1;48(10):e406-e411. doi: 10.3928/19382359-20190920-01.


Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease (KFD), or histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis, is a rare, benign, and self-limited disease that causes lymphadenopathy and has a characteristic histological appearance. The etiology of this disease is unknown, but a possible infectious trigger has been hypothesized. In the adult population this disease is more common in females; however, in the pediatric population it is more common in males. Descriptions in the pediatric literature are lacking, particularly in the United States. The authors report three cases of pediatric KFD that presented at the same institution in a 9-month time period. All three patients were male and of non-Asian descent who were diagnosed with KFD by histopathologic specimen after presenting with unilateral cervical lymphadenitis. Each patient had additional laboratory evidence of a possible bacterial infection at the time of diagnosis. These three cases highlight the importance of considering KFD early when a pediatric patient presents with unilateral cervical lymphadenitis. The authors discuss the epidemiology, etiology, clinical manifestations, diagnostic approaches, and treatment of KFD. [Pediatr Ann. 2019;48(10):e406-e411.].

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential*
  • Histiocytic Necrotizing Lymphadenitis / diagnosis*
  • Histiocytic Necrotizing Lymphadenitis / etiology
  • Histiocytic Necrotizing Lymphadenitis / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male