Fever of unknown origin (FUO) was originally characterised in 1961 by Petersdorf and Beeson as a disease condition of temperature exceeding 38.3 °C on at least three occasions over a period of at least three weeks, with no diagnosis made despite one week of inpatient investigation. However, since underlying diseases are often reported for classical FUO, these presentations may not be considered to be of “unknown origin”. Rather, the aetiology of prolonged fever may resolve, or not resolve. The definition of fever with unresolved cause (true FUO) is difficult, as it is a moving target, given the constant advancement of imaging and biomarker analysis. Therefore, the prevalence of fever with unresolved cause (FUO) is unknown.
In this review, we report such a case of prolonged fever, which initially has presented as classical FUO, and discuss current literature. Furthermore, we will give an outlook, how a prospective study on FUO will allow to solve outstanding issues like the utility of different diagnostic investigations, and the types and prevalence of various underlying diseases.