Mycobacteriosis in patients with fever of unknown origin

Chuen Chin, Susan Shin Jung Lee, Yao Shen Chen, Shue Ren Wann, Hsi Hsun Lin, Wei Ru Lin, Chun Kai Huang, Chih Hsiang Kao, Muh Yong Yen, Yung Ching Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Fever of unknown origin (FUO) is a common syndrome. A total of 94 patients (57 men and 37 women; mean age, 56.3 ± 19 years, range, 18-86 years) who met the criteria of FUO were included in this study. Mycobacteriosis was diagnosed in 22 (23%) of these patients (13 men and 9 women), including 9 with disseminated disease and 13 with pulmonary disease. There was no significant statistical difference in age, sex, short-term survival status (3 months), and other clinical parameters between patients with and without mycobacteriosis. Clinical manifestations may be specific or nonspecific. The most common initial presentations in patients with mycobacteriosis were respiratory tract symptoms, mainly of cough and dyspnea, observed in 11 (50%) patients, and disturbance of consciousness in 6 (27%). The associated conditions included malnutrition (4 patients, 18%), diabetes mellitus (3, 14%), and renal failure (3, 14%). Four (18%) patients had a history of pulmonary tuberculosis or tuberculous spondylitis in their early adulthood. The 2 most common findings on chest radiograph were interstitial (41%) and nonspecific infiltrative (32%) patterns. In conclusion, mycobacteriosis remains the leading cause of FUO in southern Taiwan and it is important to screen for this treatable disease in all cases of FUO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-253
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Fever of unknown origin
  • Mycobacterial infection
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology and Allergy


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