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Table 3 Initial diagnosis for fever of unknown origin in mechanically ventilated patients in intensive care unit

From: Hospital-acquired sinusitis is a common cause of fever of unknown origin in orotracheally intubated critically ill patients

Cause of fever Sole cause One of multiple causes
Central line infection 43 1
Upper respiratory tract infection/pneumoniaa 93 42
Sinusitis 45 39
Abdominal focus 5 3
Otherb 2 1
Unknown   121
Total 188 86
  1. Initial diagnosis was performed after initial screening with physical examination and chest X-ray in all 351 patients, sinus X-ray in 198 patients and sinus drainage in 98 patients; cultures were not yet available. All patients had fever and leucocytosis. aPurulent tracheobronchial aspirate with cultures positive for pathogenic microorganisms, combined with new or progressive pulmonary infiltrates on chest X-ray; bother causes of fever included meningitis, phlebitis and deep venous thrombosis.