Grey-scale and power Doppler sonography of unusual cervical lymphadenopathy

Tin Cheung Ying, Anil T. Ahuja, H. Y. Yuen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This study was undertaken to document the grey-scale and power Doppler sonographic features of cervical lymphadenopathy in Kikuchi's disease (histiocytic necrotising lymphadenitis), Rosai-Dorfman disease (sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy), Sjogren's syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which have not been reported in the literature. A retrospective review of the grey-scale and power Doppler sonograms of the cervical lymph nodes in nine patients was conducted (Kikuchi's disease, n = 3; Rosai-Dorfman disease, n = 1; Sjogren's syndrome, n = 1; SLE, n = 4). Lymph nodes were proven to be pathologic by fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC). On grey-scale ultrasound (US), lymph nodes were assessed by their distribution, size, shape, echogenicity and internal architecture. The vascular pattern of the lymph nodes was assessed with power Doppler sonography. US features of the lymph nodes were compared to those of metastatic and reactive nodes. In Kikuchi's disease, Rosai-Dorfman disease, Sjogren's syndrome and SLE, the distribution of lymph nodes is similar to that of reactive nodes. Most of the lymph nodes are enlarged with a maximum transverse diameter greater than or equal to 10 mm (83.3 to 100%). In Kikuchi's disease, lymph nodes have grey-scale and Doppler appearances similar to reactive nodes. However, lymph nodes in Rosai-Dorfman disease, Sjogren's syndrome and SLE show similar grey-scale and Doppler features to metastatic nodes. There is no specific US feature to characterise lymphadenopathy from these four miscellaneous causes. Definitive diagnosis should still be based on cytology and histology, and US can help in guiding FNAC for a more accurate cytologic examination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-454
Number of pages6
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2004


  • Cervical lymph nodes
  • Kikuchi's disease
  • Rosai-Dorfman disease
  • Sjogren's syndrome
  • SLE
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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