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Fever of Unknown Origin

ROBERT G. PETERSDORF, M.D., F.A.C.P.
[+] Article and Author Information

Department of Medicine
University of Washington School of Medicine
Seattle, Wash.


Ann Intern Med. 1969;70(4):864-866. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-70-4-864
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In 1961 Paul Beeson (now Nuffield Professor of Medicine at Oxford) and I published a paper analyzing the cause, clinical course, and diagnostic clues derived from 100 patients with fever of unknown origin. The data for this paper were gathered prospectively in a medium-sized city in the northeastern United States between 1952 and 1958. In essence, we found that among 100 patients with fever of unknown origin some 40% had infections; 20%, neoplastic disease; 20%, collagen vascular disease; and 10%, a variety of entities including familial Mediterranean fever, multiple pulmonary emboli, drug fever, sarcoid, and even malingering. In 10% the

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