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Open Access Review

Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease

Xavier Bosch1* and Antonio Guilabert2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Spain

2 Department of Dermatology, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Spain

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Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 2006, 1:18  doi:10.1186/1750-1172-1-18

Published: 23 May 2006

Abstract

Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease (KFD) is a benign and self-limited disorder, characterized by regional cervical lymphadenopathy with tenderness, usually accompanied with mild fever and night sweats. Less frequent symptoms include weight loss, nausea, vomiting, sore throat. Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease is an extremely rare disease known to have a worldwide distribution with higher prevalence among Japanese and other Asiatic individuals. The clinical, histopathological and immunohistochemical features appear to point to a viral etiology, a hypothesis that still has not been proven. KFD is generally diagnosed on the basis of an excisional biopsy of affected lymph nodes. Its recognition is crucial especially because this disease can be mistaken for systemic lupus erythematosus, malignant lymphoma or even, though rarely, for adenocarcinoma. Clinicians' and pathologists' awareness of this disorder may help prevent misdiagnsois and inappropriate treatment. The diagnosis of KFD merits active consideration in any nodal biopsy showing fragmentation, necrosis and karyorrhexis, especially in young individuals presenting with posterior cervical lymphadenopathy. Treatment is symptomatic (analgesics-antipyretics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and, rarely, corticosteroids). Spontaneous recovery occurs in 1 to 4 months. Patients with Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease should be followed-up for several years to survey the possibility of the development of systemic lupus erythematosus.