Revised definition of 'fever of unknown origin': limitations and opportunities

J Infect. 2005 Jan;50(1):1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2004.06.007.


Aim: The limitations and opportunities of revised definition of fevers of unknown origin (FUO) in comparison to conventional definition were investigated, and prehospital characteristics of the patients were detailed.

Method: The patients were grouped according to both revised and classic definitions of FUO.

Results: Fifty-nine of the 80 patients (74%) met the conventional definition of FUO. Before their admissions, all patients had at least one course of antibiotic therapy. The aetiology was infectious in 52%, autoimmune in 19%, and neoplastic in 17%. In 12% of the cases, the reason for high fever could not be explained. The most common infectious aetiologies were various forms of tuberculosis (12%), brucellosis (12%), salmonella (7%) and malaria (5%). The revised definition inflated the rate of infectious aetiology.

Conclusion: A standardized set of diagnostic tools used in this study was suggested. The subjects of FUO series have to be screened for endemic infections.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / epidemiology
  • Communicable Diseases / complications*
  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / diagnosis*
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / epidemiology
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / etiology*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Outpatients
  • Prospective Studies
  • Turkey / epidemiology