What is the role of lab testing in the workup of Kikuchi disease?

Updated: Nov 13, 2020
  • Author: John Boone, MD; Chief Editor: Sara J Grethlein, MD, FACP  more...
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In patients with Kikuchi disease, diagnostic laboratory and radiologic test findings are nonspecific. Although results of fine-needle aspiration (FNA) of an affected lymph node may be suggestive, [31, 32] the diagnosis of Kikuchi disease is confirmed only by excisional lymph node biopsy.

Complete blood cell (CBC) count findings include the following:

  • Mild granulocytopenia is observed in 20-50% of patients.

  • Leukocytosis is present in 2-5% of patients.

Additional blood study findings include the following:

  • Atypical lymphocytes are observed in 25% of patients

  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels may be elevated

  • Elevated lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels suggest hepatic involvement

  • Results from autoimmune antibody studies, including LE preparation and rheumatoid factor (RF) and antinuclear antibody (ANA) studies, are generally negative; these findings may help the clinician distinguish Kikuchi disease from SLE.


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