Fever Patterns: Their Lack of Clinical Significance

Daniel M. Musher, Victor Fainstein, Edward J. Young, Timothy L. Pruett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Fever patterns were studied prospectively in 200 consecutive patients referred for infectious disease consultation and retrospectively in 204 patients with selected infectious or noninfectious diseases. Most patients had remittent or intermittent fever, which, when due to infection, usually followed diurnal variation. Hectic fever occurred less commonly but was observed in patients with all categories of infectious or noninfectious diseases. Although hectic fevers were seen more frequently in patients who had documented bacteremia, there were many nonbacteremic subjects who had this pattern and others without this pattern who had bacteremia. Sustained fever nearly always occurred in patients with Gram-negative pneumonia or CNS damage, although some patients with these diseases had other patterns as well. The data suggest that, with the possible exception of sustained fever in Gram-negative pneumonia or CNS damage, the fever pattern is not likely to be helpful diagnostically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1225-1228
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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