Fever of unknown origin in children: Evaluation
- Debra L Palazzi, MD, MEd
Debra L Palazzi, MD, MEd
- Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases Section
- Baylor College of Medicine
- Section Editors
- Sheldon L Kaplan, MD
Sheldon L Kaplan, MD
- Editor-in-Chief — Pediatrics
- Section Editor — Pediatric Infectious Diseases
- Professor and Vice Chairman for Clinical Affairs
- Baylor College of Medicine
- Robert Sundel, MD
Robert Sundel, MD
- Section Editor — Pediatric Rheumatology
- Associate Professor of Pediatrics
- Harvard Medical School
- Jan E Drutz, MD
Jan E Drutz, MD
- Section Editor — General Pediatrics
- Professor of Pediatrics
- Baylor College of Medicine
Fever is a common presenting complaint in children. Most febrile illnesses either resolve before a diagnosis can be made or develop distinguishing characteristics that lead to a diagnosis. Fever of unknown origin (FUO) refers to a prolonged febrile illness without an established etiology despite thorough evaluation.
An approach to the evaluation of FUO in children will be reviewed here. Causes of FUO in children, fever without a source, and fever in specific pediatric populations are discussed separately:
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- OVERVIEW OF EVALUATION
- INITIAL EVALUATION
- - Fever history
- - Associated complaints
- - Exposures
- - Ethnic or genetic background
- Initial diagnostic testing
- - Basic tests for all patients
- - Additional targeted tests
- Diagnostic interventions
- - Discontinue medications
- - Therapeutic trials
- SUBSEQUENT EVALUATION
- INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS