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Kimura disease: a clinicopathologic study of 21 cases.

Kimura disease is a rare form of chronic inflammatory disorder involving subcutaneous tissue, predominantly in the head and neck region and frequently associated with regional lymphadenopathy and/or salivary gland involvement. This condition has a predilection for males of Asian descent and may clinically simulate a neoplasm. Kimura disease is sometimes confused with angiolymphoid hyperplasia with eosinophilia, which occurs in the superficial skin of the head and neck region. Although sporadic cases have been reported in non-Asians, there is no large, comprehensive study of Kimura disease in the United States. We report 21 cases with nodal involvement that, histologically, are consistent with Kimura disease. There were 18 males and 3 females (male/female ratio 6:1), 8 to 64 years of age (mean, 32 years), and included 7 Caucasians, 6 Blacks, 6 Asians, 1 Hispanic, and 1 Arabic. Anatomic sites of involvement included posterior auricular (n = 10), cervical (n = 6), inguinal (n = 3), and epitrochlear (n = 2) lymph nodes, with two patients having associated salivary gland involvement. Most (n = 16) cases had peripheral blood eosinophilia. Consistent histologic features were follicular hyperplasia, eosinophilic infiltrates, and proliferation of postcapillary venules. Follow-up data on 18 patients revealed that 13 were alive without disease (3 had recurrence), mean follow-up, 10.9 years; 4 were alive with disease (2 had a recurrence), mean follow-up, 8.8 years; and 1 died with disease (12.7 years). Kimura disease has been described more often in Asians, but it does occur in non-Asians with a similar clinicopathologic presentation. It is a distinctive entity with no known etiology. Kimura disease has characteristic histologic features that are important to recognize and can be used to differentiate it from hypersensitivity and drug reactions and infections.

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