What are the histologic differences between Kikuchi disease and lymphoma?

Updated: Nov 13, 2020
  • Author: John Boone, MD; Chief Editor: Sara J Grethlein, MD, FACP  more...
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Answer

The numerous atypical monocytes and T-cell immunoblasts observed in Kikuchi disease may lead to an erroneous diagnosis of lymphoma, especially high-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Features of Kikuchi disease that may help prevent its misdiagnosis as malignant lymphoma include the following:

  • Incomplete architectural effacement with patent sinuses
  • Presence of numerous reactive histiocytes
  • Relatively low mitotic rates
  • Absence of Reed-Sternberg cells

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