Fever of unknown origin in Turkey: evaluation of 87 cases during a nine-year-period of study

J Infect. 2004 Jan;48(1):81-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2003.08.006.


Objectives: To investigate fever of unknown origin (FUO) in 87 patients.

Methods: We investigated 87 (61 male) patients with FUO using the criteria of Petersdorf and Beeson [Medicine 40 (1961) 1] hospitalized between January 1994 and August 2002 at Cukurova University Hospital.

Results: The median age of the patients was 38.5 years (range: 14-80 years). Eleven patients (12.6%) were over 65. The mean duration of hospitalization was 22.5+/-13 days. Infectious diseases were the most common causes of FUO. Tuberculosis (n=15, 17.2%), infective endocarditis (n=6), abdominal abscess (n=6), brucellosis (n=5), urinary tract infection (n=5), visceral leishmaniasis (n=4), salmonellosis (n=3), rhinocerebral mucormycosis (n=4), atypical pneumonia, cerebral toxoplasmosis, Cytomegalovirus infection or encephalitis were diagnosed in 51 (58.6%) patients. The second most common causes of FUO were collagen vascular diseases (n=16, 18.3%) determined as vasculitis syndrome, adult Still's disease (n=4), systemic lupus erythematosus, Behçet's disease, juvenile ankylosing spondylitis. Neoplasm was found in 12 (13.7%) patients; (non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic myeloid leukemia, gastrointestinal tract carcinoma, glioma). Miscellaneous diseases thyroiditis, granulomatous hepatitis were diagnosed in two (2.2%) patients. On admission, six patients (6.8%) were neutropenic.

Conclusions: Infectious diseases, especially tuberculosis, were the leading diagnostic category of FUO in this study. Adult Still's disease was more common than expected. An aetiological diagnosis could not be reached in six (7%) patients who were followed for 1 year. Five of these patients completely recovered, and one patient died.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / diagnosis
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / epidemiology*
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Turkey / epidemiology