Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 859–865 | Cite as

Effective treatment of Kimura’s disease with leflunomide in combination with glucocorticoids

  • Lie DaiEmail author
  • Xiu-Ning Wei
  • Dong-Hui Zheng
  • Ying-Qian Mo
  • Frank Pessler
  • Bai-Yu Zhang
Case Based Review


Kimura’s disease (KD) is a rare, benign, chronic inflammatory disease which typically presents as persisting or recurring tumor-like lesions in the head and neck area that can be easily misdiagnosed. We report one patient with KD treated with leflunomide in combination with glucocorticoids and analyzed the literature on treatment of KD. The patient had a recurrent mass in the left upper arm with eosinophilia and elevated serum IgE but no renal involvement. The clinical manifestations improved markedly within 1 month, and blood eosinophil count and serum IgE normalized. Corticosteroids were then tapered gradually without recurrence or severe side effects in the 2-year follow-up period. Literature analysis identified four different non-drug interventions and 18 different drugs for treating KD, most of which were obtained from case reports. Our use of combination therapy of leflunomide and glucocorticoids suggests the need for a controlled trial for the treatment of this rare disorder.


Eosinophilia Kimura’s disease Leflunomide Lymphadenopathy 



We gratefully thank the cooperation of the KD patient reported here, as well as the members of the medical staff and pathologist who generously collaborated with this study.




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Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lie Dai
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xiu-Ning Wei
    • 1
  • Dong-Hui Zheng
    • 1
  • Ying-Qian Mo
    • 1
  • Frank Pessler
    • 2
  • Bai-Yu Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Rheumatology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial HospitalSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Infection GeneticsHelmholtz Centre for Infection ResearchBraunschweigGermany

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