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01.12.2015 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Surgery 1/2015

Kikuchi-Fujimoto lymphadenitis imitating metastatic melanoma on positron emission tomography: a case report

BMC Surgery > Ausgabe 1/2015
Peter Urbanellis, Laura Chin-Lenn, Carolin J Teman, J Gregory McKinnon
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

PU, LCL, CT and JGM wrote the manuscript. CT provided the photomicrographs. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Accurate staging is critical for decision-making for the treatment of malignant conditions. Fluoro-deoxy-glucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography (FDG PET-CT) is a highly sensitive imaging modality for the assessment of distant metastases; however false positive results are possible due to its lower specificity with detection of other hypermetabolic pathologies.

Case presentation

A patient with high-risk thigh melanoma was staged with FDG PET-CT. Four ipsilateral inguinal nodes (three superficial, one deep) demonstrated intense hypermetabolic activity. Metastatic melanoma was confirmed in the largest superficial inguinal node with ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration. Histopathology demonstrated metastatic melanoma in one superficial node and histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis, also known as Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease in five deep inguinal nodes.


This case illustrates a false positive FDG PET-CT due to coincidental, synchronous melanoma and Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease in the same draining lymph node basin.
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