This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
One of the most difficult challenges in clinical medicine is arriving at a specific diagnosis for a fever of unknown origin (FUO). The cause of a FUO will frequently remain obscure and frustrate the best diagnostic efforts of an aggressive house staff backed up by learned consultants and a medical center equipped with the latest and most sophisticated diagnostic facilities.
The FUOs can be divided into four groups on the basis of their underlying cause: (1) infections, (2) neoplasms, (3) collagen-vasculitis disorders, and (4) miscellaneous (eg, sarcoid). In the most difficult and obscure cases, the clinician may not be able to assign the cause of a FUO to one of these groups and may be reluctant to initiate a trial of corticosteroid therapy for what is believed to be a vasculitis, in case an infection such as tuberculosis is the real villain. Thus, patients with FUO are subjected to a
Barclay WR. Fever of Unknown Origin. JAMA. 1977;238(22):2404. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280230068030