The spectrum of diseases causing fever of unknown origin in Turkey: a multicenter study

Int J Infect Dis. 2008 Jan;12(1):71-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2007.04.013. Epub 2007 Jul 12.


Objective: The purpose of this trial was to determine the spectrum of diseases with fever of unknown origin (FUO) in Turkey.

Methods: A prospective multicenter study of 154 patients with FUO in twelve Turkish tertiary-care hospitals was conducted.

Results: The mean age of the patients was 42+/-17 years (range 17-75). Fifty-three (34.4%) had infectious diseases (ID), 47 (30.5%) had non-infectious inflammatory diseases (NIID), 22 (14.3%) had malignant diseases (MD), and eight (5.2%) had miscellaneous diseases (Mi). In 24 (15.6%) of the cases, the reason for high fever could not be determined despite intensive efforts. The most common ID etiologies were tuberculosis (13.6%) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection (3.2%). Adult Still's disease was the most common NIID (13.6%) and hematological malignancy was the most common MD (7.8%). In patients with NIID, the mean duration of reaching a definite diagnosis (37+/-23 days) was significantly longer compared to the patients with ID (25+/-12 days) (p=0.007). In patients with MD, the mean duration of fever (51+/-35 days) was longer compared to patients with ID (37+/-38 days) (p=0.052).

Conclusions: Although infection remains the most common cause of FUO, with the highest percentage for tuberculosis, non-infectious etiologies seem to have increased when compared with previous studies.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Communicable Diseases / complications*
  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / epidemiology*
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / etiology*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / complications*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rheumatic Diseases / complications*
  • Rheumatic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Turkey / epidemiology