Kimura disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder of unknown etiology that most commonly presents as painless lymphadenopathy or subcutaneous masses in the head and neck region. The first report of Kimura disease was from China in 1937, in which Kimm and Szeto
described seven cases of a condition they termed “eosinophilic hyperplastic lymphogranuloma.” The disorder received its current name in 1948, when Kimura et al
noted the vascular component and referred to it as an “unusual granulation combined with hyperplastic changes in lymphoid tissue.”
Controversy has existed in the literature regarding whether Kimura disease and angiolymphoid hyperplasia with eosinophilia (ALHE) are the same entity. Some authors believe that Kimura disease represents a chronic, deeper form of ALHE; however, most papers distinguish the two on the basis of clinical and histopathologic characteristics.
ALHE appears to represent an arteriovenous malformation with secondary inflammation. Kimura disease may represent a primary inflammatory process with secondary vascular proliferation.
Reports have described both diseases presenting simultaneously.