Kikuchi-Fujimoto lymphadenitis: Role of parvovirus B-19, Epstein-Barr virus, human herpesvirus 6, and human herpesvirus 8 Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Herpesvirus 4, Human
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human
  • Histiocytic Necrotizing Lymphadenitis
  • Parvovirus B19, Human


  • Kikuchi-Fujimoto lymphadenitis is a self-limited disorder that typically presents in young females as painless cervical lymphadenopathy with fever, anemia, and leukopenia. The clinical manifestations and pathologic findings suggest a viral etiology, yet specific etiologic agents remain unknown. Although there are studies reporting positive associations between Kikuchi-Fujimoto lymphadenitis and parvovirus B19 and herpesviruses, other studies have failed to find an association with these viruses. To our knowledge, this current study is the largest study of Kikuchi-Fujimoto lymphadenitis in Western patients that used polymerase chain reaction testing for 4 different common viral pathogens often implicated as etiologic agents in Kikuchi-Fujimoto lymphadenitis. Archival material from 3 institutions was included, following confirmation of the diagnosis of Kikuchi-Fujimoto lymphadenitis by 2 independent pathologists. Polymerase chain reaction from the paraffin-embedded tissue sections for parvovirus B19, Epstein-Barr virus, human herpesvirus 6, and human herpesvirus 8 was performed. Eighteen cases of Kikuchi-Fujimoto lymphadenitis were analyzed, 12 of which (60%) were cervical lymph nodes. All the cases showed typical geographic necrosis with abundant apoptotic debris, although the degree of necrosis was variable. Polymerase chain reaction revealed a high prevalence of parvovirus B19 in the controls (44%); there were fewer positive cases seen in the Kikuchi-Fujimoto lymphadenitis cases (11%), but this did not reach statistical significance (P = .25).There were no significant differences between cases and controls in the prevalence of Epstein-Barr virus, human herpesvirus 6, and human herpesvirus 8 (P = .50 for all 3). Polymerase chain reaction failed to reveal a positive association between Kikuchi-Fujimoto lymphadenitis and 4 common suspected viral agents. These findings do not support a role for Epstein-Barr virus, human herpesvirus 6, human herpesvirus 8, or parvovirus B19 in the pathogenesis of Kikuchi-Fujimoto lymphadenitis.

publication date

  • February 2013



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.humpath.2012.05.016

PubMed ID

  • 22939574

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 255

end page

  • 9


  • 44


  • 2