What are the histologic differences between Kikuchi disease and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)?

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

Kikuchi disease and SLE have similar histopathologic appearances. Distinguishing the two entities can be difficult. Kikuchi disease is suggested by the absence or paucity of the following:

  • Hematoxylin bodies
  • Plasma cells
  • Neutrophils

Tabata et al reported that CD30 immunostaining may help in the differentation of Kikuchi disease from SLE. In a study that included 30 patients with Kikuchi disease and six with SLE, CD30-positive cells were significantly more numerous in Kikuchi disease than in SLE and most of these CD30-positive cells were located around necrotic areas. Double immunohistochemical staining showed that these CD30-positive cells were CD8-positive cytotoxic T cells, suggesting that activated cytotoxic T cells around necrotic areas are a characteristic feature of this disease. Cases with abundant CD30-positive cells occurred predominantly in female patients with only mild symptoms and normal laboratory data. [37]

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!