What are the initial steps in the physical exam of fever of unknown origin (FUO)?

Updated: May 17, 2021
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Definitive documentation of fever and exclusion of factitious fever are essential early steps in the physical examination. Measure the fever more than once and in the presence of healthcare personnel to exclude manipulation of thermometers.

On physical examination, pay special attention to the eyes, skin, lymph nodes, spleen, heart, abdomen, and genitalia.

Repeat a regular physical examination daily while the patient is hospitalized. Pay special attention to rashes, new or changing cardiac murmurs, signs of arthritis, abdominal tenderness or rigidity, lymph node enlargement, funduscopic changes, and neurologic deficits.

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