Kikuchi disease: A disorder that typically causes "swollen glands" in the neck (cervical lymphadenopathy) together with fever or flu-like symptoms. Laboratory test abnormalities include elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and white blood count abnormalities (low neutrophil count and elevated lymphocyte count with atypical lymphocytes in the peripheral blood).
Kikuchi disease is fairly common in young people, predominantly young women, in Asia. Also called Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease or histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis, this condition was discovered in Japan in 1972 and since then has seen in other areas of the world.
The overall picture is suggestive of a virus infection; autoimmune factors may also play a role. However, no infectious agent has yet been identified and autoimmunity remains hypothetical.
Diagnosis is based on characteristic pathologic findings on biopsy that differentiate this disease from others such as lymphoma, systemic lupus erythematosus, and infectious lymphadenopathies.