Fever of unknown origin in the elderly
Article first published online: 4 OCT 2002
Journal of Internal Medicine
Volume 252, Issue 4, pages 295–304, October 2002
How to Cite
Tal, S., Guller, V., Gurevich, A. and Levi, S. (2002), Fever of unknown origin in the elderly. Journal of Internal Medicine, 252: 295–304. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2796.2002.01042.x
- Issue published online: 4 OCT 2002
- Article first published online: 4 OCT 2002
- Received 2 February 2002; revision received 12 August 2002; accepted 15 August 2002.
- fever of unknown origin;
- temporal arteritis;
Fever of unknown origin (FUO) means fever that does not resolve itself in the period expected for self-limited infection and whose cause cannot be ascertained despite considerable diagnostic efforts. The differential diagnosis is often different in older patients, and presentation of disease is frequently nonspecific and symptoms are difficult to interpret. Multisystem disease has emerged as the most frequent cause of FUO in the elderly, and temporal arteritis is the most frequent specific diagnosis. Infections, particular tuberculosis, remain an important group. FUO is often associated with treatable conditions in this age group. Early recognition and prompt initiation of appropriate empirical therapy are cornerstones of the strategy.