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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1978 Nov;26(11):498-505.

Fever of unknown origin in the elderly.


An extensive literature survey was performed and hospital records were reviewed in order to identify cases of fever of undetermined origin in patients aged 65 or older. Analysis of the 111 cases discovered demonstrates a characteristic but not unique spectrum of underlying disorders. Potentially curable entities such as abdominal abscess, bacterial endocarditis, tuberculosis and giant-cell arteritis account for more than half of the serious illnesses presenting with prolonged pyrexia in elderly subjects. A diagnostic approach to the management of the persistently febrile geriatric patient is discussed.

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