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Lupus. 2011 Jul;20(8):809-19. doi: 10.1177/0961203310397684. Epub 2011 May 11.

Histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis in the context of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): Is histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis in SLE associated with skin lesions?

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Arthritis and Autoimmunity Research Center, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Daegu, South Korea.


Histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis (HNL), or Kikuchi's disease, is a benign and self-limiting lymphadenopathy that typically affects young Asian females. It presents with lymphadenopathy, usually cervical, accompanied by fever, chills and leukopenia. Although the association between systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and HNL is rare, the number of reports of HNL in SLE patients is increasing. We present nine cases of HNL in patients with SLE. Among the seven patients with diverse skin manifestations, three had skin manifestations that were histologically compatible with SLE. A review of previous reports in the literature showed that cutaneous involvement was commonly found in HNL in association with SLE. In the patients who had simultaneous onset of both diseases, lupus flare-ups were commonly observed. We suggest that HNL in SLE patients is associated with cutaneous manifestations. This report contributes to our understanding of the relationship between these diseases.

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