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      Comparison of classical diagnostic criteria and Chinese revised diagnostic criteria for fever of unknown origin in Chinese patients

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          Fever of unknown origin (FUO) has always been a challenging problem for physicians since it was first reported half a century ago. This study aimed to investigate the clinical features of FUO and to compare the clinical significance of the classical diagnostic criteria and the Chinese revised diagnostic criteria of FUO.


          We retrospectively collected a series of 140 patients admitted to our hospital between September 2011 and June 2013 because of prolonged febrile illnesses (lasting at least 2 weeks, temperature ≥38.5°C) without diagnosis and categorized them into two groups according to the Chinese revised diagnostic criteria (group A) and classical diagnostic criteria (group B) for FUO. The A group included patients presenting with fever persisting between 2 and 3 weeks with the diagnosis remaining uncertain after three outpatient visits or at least 3 days of hospital investigation. The B group included patients presenting with fever persisting for more than 3 weeks with no established diagnosis after 1 week of hospital investigation. The general conditions, etiologies, definite diagnosis times, and diagnostic methods of the two groups were compared.


          There were no significant differences in the general conditions, etiologies, definite diagnosis times, and diagnostic methods between the Chinese revised diagnostic criteria and classical diagnostic criteria.


          Both the examined FUO diagnostic criteria are suitable for clinical practice in this region.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Fever of unexplained origin: report on 100 cases.

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            A comprehensive evidence-based approach to fever of unknown origin.

            Fever of unknown origin (FUO) is defined as a temperature higher than 38.3 degrees C on several occasions and lasting longer than 3 weeks, with a diagnosis that remains uncertain after 1 week of investigation. A systematic review was performed to develop evidence-based recommendations for the diagnostic workup of FUO. MEDLINE database was searched (January 1966 to December 2000) to identify articles related to FUO. Articles were included if the patient population met the criteria for FUO and they addressed the natural history, prognosis, or spectrum of disease or evaluated a diagnostic test in FUO. The quality of retrieved articles was rated as "good," "fair," or "poor," and sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic yield of tests were calculated. Recommendations were made in accordance with the strength of evidence. The prevalence of FUO in hospitalized patients is reported to be 2.9%. Eleven studies indicate that the spectrum of disease includes "no diagnosis" (19%), infections (28%), inflammatory diseases (21%), and malignancies (17%). Deep vein thrombosis (3%) and temporal arteritis in the elderly (16%-17%) were important considerations. Four good natural history studies indicate that most patients with undiagnosed FUO recover spontaneously (51%-100%). One fair-quality study suggested a high specificity (99%) for the diagnosis of endocarditis in FUO by applying the Duke criteria. One fair-quality study showed that computed tomographic scanning of the abdomen had a diagnostic yield of 19%. Ten studies of nuclear imaging revealed that technetium was the most promising isotope, showing a high specificity (94%), albeit low sensitivity (40%-75%) (2 fair-quality studies). Two fair-quality studies showed liver biopsy to have a high diagnostic yield (14%-17%), but with risk of harm (0.009%-0.12% death). Empiric bone marrow cultures showed a low diagnostic yield of 0% to 2% (2 fair-quality articles). Diagnosis of FUO may be assisted by the Duke criteria for endocarditis, computed tomographic scan of the abdomen, nuclear scanning with a technetium-based isotope, and liver biopsy (fair to good evidence). Routine bone marrow cultures are not recommended.
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              Fever of unknown origin: discrimination between infectious and non-infectious causes.

              The present study aimed to develop and evaluate a simple diagnostic model that could aid physicians to discriminate between infectious and non-infectious causes of fever of unknown origin (FUO).

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                12 October 2016
                : 12
                : 1545-1551
                Department of Infectious Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Wen-Xiang Huang, Department of Infectious Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, No 1 Friendship Road, Yuanjiagang, Yuzhong District, Chongqing 400016, People’s Republic of China, Tel +86 23 8901 2427, Fax +86 23 8901 2430, Email huangwxian@ 123456yeah.net
                © 2016 Li et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research


                drug design, fever of unknown origin, comparison, diagnostic criteria


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