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Lymphoma and Pets
Diseases Misdiagnosed as Lymphoma: Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease
Several diseases are mistaken for lymphoma. Here is one of them.
The primary symptoms of lymphoma—enlarged lymph nodes, fever, night sweats, weight loss—are called non-specific because they can apply to many different potential diseases.
One of those diseases is a rare disease called Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease. It is considered extremely rare. The symptoms include:
- Tender, enlarged lymph nodes
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
- Sore throat
The disease was first reported in Japan (thus the name) but it occurs in all racial groups.
It has been theorized that the disease is caused by a virus. The vast majority of physicians have never actually seen a case of Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease, but its symptoms can mimic lymphoma to the degree that it can be mistaken as lymphoma.
Typically, the disease goes away after a few months. Treatments are not standardized; they usually involve steroids, immune globulin, or antibiotics. Relapses are uncommon, occurring in between ten and twenty percent of cases.
Knowing the Difference
Determining the difference between lymphoma and Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease comes down to the expertise of the hematopathologist reviewing the patient's biopsy. This is yet another reason to make sure that one's lymphoma biopsy is reviewed by a qualified blood pathologist.