Am J Med. 2021 Aug 24:S0002-9343(21)00526-X. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2021.07.038. Online ahead of print.
Prolonged fever of 38.3°C or higher for at least 3 weeks' duration has been termed fever of unknown origin if unexplained after preliminary investigations. Initially codified in 1961, classification with subgroups was revised in 1991. Additional changes to the definition were proposed in 1997, recommending a set of standardized initial investigations. Advances in diagnosis and management and diagnostic testing over the last 3 decades have prompted a needed update to the definition and approaches. While a 3-week fever duration remains part of the criteria, a lower temperature threshold of 38°C and revised minimum testing criteria will assist clinicians and their patients, setting a solid foundation for future research.