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January 1992

Fever of Unknown Origin: An Old Friend Revisited

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC

Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(1):21-22. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400130047001

In this issue of the Archives, Knockaert and colleagues1 describe 199 cases of fever of unknown origin (FUO) encountered on a general medical service at the University Hospital in Leuven, Belgium. Using the diagnostic criteria Beeson and I2 proposed more than 30 years ago, they point out that, in comparison with our series of patients, fewer patients had tumors and hepatobiliary sepsis, more patients had multisystem diseases, primarily temporal arteritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, Still's disease, and sarcoidosis, and a considerably larger number of patients had undiagnosed conditions. They attribute the smaller number of tumors and hepatobiliary problems to the much more avid use of ultrasonography and computed tomographic scanning, a conclusion with which I agree.

It is no surprise that the diagnostic spectrum of FUO is changing over time. In the sequel to our 1961 report, for which the patients were assembled in the 1970s, my colleagues and I3 found

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