Cardiac and vascular causes of persistent fever: A systematic review

Rev Cardiovasc Med. 2019 Dec 30;20(4):255-261. doi: 10.31083/j.rcm.2019.04.565.


Fever of unknown origin refers to a prolonged fever with an unknown cause despite adequate medical evaluations. This condition often leads to unnecessary extensive laboratory work-ups and antimicrobial therapies. The atypical presentations often cause a delayed diagnosis and an improper treatment with an increased morbidity rate. In cardiac surgical patients, fever of unknown origin remains an intriguing problem during the diagnostic process of cardiac surgical diseases. Cardiac myxoma or aortic dissection are often misdiagnosed when patients present with fever of unknown origin as an onset symptom. Under such circumstances, medical examinations by echocardiography and chest computed tomography, particularly fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography, have been proved crucial for early diagnosis. A better understanding of the clinical features of cardiac surgical disorders presenting with fever of unknown origin would facilitate early diagnosis of fever of unknown origin. A further decision-making of prompt treatment of choices of a cardiac operation is important for improving patients' outcomes.

Keywords: Cardiac surgical procedures; delayed diagnosis; fever of unknown origin.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / diagnosis
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / epidemiology*
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / therapy
  • Humans
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors