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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Kikuchi disease

Other Names for this Disease
  • Histiocytic necrotising lymphadenitis
  • Kikuchi necrotizing lymphadenitis
  • Kikuchi's disease
  • Kikuchi-Fujimoto's disease
  • Nosocomial Kikuchi's disease
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Your Question

I was diagnosed with Kikuchi's disease a number of years ago. I had a lump on the side of my neck that kept on getting bigger. An ear nose and throat specialist did surgery to remove it. Biopsy confirmed that it was Kikuchi's disease. The ear nose and throat specialist informed me that I would have these lumps throughout my body for the rest of my life. Is this true? According to what I have been reading online it is supposed to go away after just a few months? I have a new lump on the other side of my neck now that has been getting bigger and it hurts. I had an MRI done and they said that it is only 1 cm wide on the inside but on the outside it was 5cm by 6cm. Do you think that I should have this removed?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Once a person is diagnosed with Kikuchi disease, do the lumps persist and/or tend to recur?

No. Most often the lumps resolve within one to four months.[1] Kikuchi disease may recur in some individuals, but this is not characteristic for the condition.[1] Occasionally Kikuchi disease proceeds (sometimes by years) a diagnosis of Lupus. As a result long-term follow-up of people with Kikuchi disease is advised.[1]
Last updated: 8/23/2013

Is surgery typically advised for the removal of painful Kikuchi disease-related lumps?

No. There is very limited information regarding Kikuchi disease treatment, however surgery is not usually advised since the condition tends to resolve on its own.

Kikuchi disease can cause lymph nodes to enlarge, in particular the lymph nodes in the neck (i.e., cervical lymph nodes). Usually the lymph node is moderately enlarged (1 to 2 cm in diameter), but can be larger (greater than 7 cm in diameter). The nodal enlargement can cause dull or sharp pain. While there are no established treatment guidelines for Kikuchi disease, individual cases of severe or persisting disease improved with glucocorticoids (steroids) alone or in combination with intravenous immunoglobulin. A single case improved with hydroxychloroquine.[1]

To learn more about your treatment options, we recommend that you speak with a healthcare provider.

Last updated: 8/23/2013

  • Richards MJ. Kikuchi's disease. In: Basow, DS (Ed), . UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate; 2013;