Encyclopedia of Cancer

2017 Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Fever of Unknown Origin

  • Henrik Toft SørensenEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-46875-3_2162



Fever of unknown origin is a clinical syndrome of fever that does not resolve spontaneously within 3 weeks, and the cause remains unknown after extensive work-up. Fever is defined as an elevation of the body temperature that exceeds the normal daily variation. The hypothalamus controls the body temperature, and a normal body temperature is ordinarily maintained because the hypothalamic thermal regulatory center balances the excess heat production derived from metabolic activities in the muscles and the liver with heat dissipation from the skin and lungs. Normally, healthy adult individuals have a mean oral temperature of 36.8 °C ± 0.4 °C. The temperature is a little bit higher in the evening. Fever of unknown origin is an important clinical challenge. In 1961 Petersdorf and Beeson (1961) defined it in their first report as an illness characterized by fever of more than 3 weeks’...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical EpidemiologyAarhus University HospitalAarhus CDenmark