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Autoimmune manifestations of Kikuchi disease.

OBJECTIVES: Kikuchi's disease (KD) has been associated with the presence of autoantibodies, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and other autoimmune diseases. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency of autoimmune manifestations in a KD cohort with a long follow-up.

METHODS: Twenty patients with histologically confirmed KD since January 1990 until December 2010 were studied; 12 of them were periodically followed up as outpatients. Another 7 patients were contacted by telephone to offer them a specific consultation and a complete autoimmunity study.

RESULTS: Thirteen of 20 patients were women (65%) with a mean age of 29 years (range, 15-79). The age at diagnosis was higher in men (44 vs 27 years, P < 0.05). Lymphopenia was present in 75% of the patients (15/20) and was the more frequent hematological abnormality. The mean follow-up of the 17 patients included in the autoimmunity study was 119 months (range, 15-252). Autoimmune diseases were detected in 9 women (53%): SLE was diagnosed in 4 patients (2 SLE before, 1 simultaneous, and 1 after KD), 2 patients developed primary Sjögren's syndrome after KD, 1 thyroiditis before KD, 1 SLE-like, and 1 antiphospholipid antibodies after KD. Leukocytoclastic vasculitis was found in 2 patients; 1 of them eventually developed SLE. Female sex, painful adenopathies, and cytopenias were significantly associated with autoimmune diseases.

CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with KD, only women developed autoimmune manifestations. Therefore, long-term follow-up and active surveillance of autoimmune diseases in patients with KD, especially women, are recommended.

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