Recurrent fever in children

Sofia Torreggiani, Giovanni Filocamo, Susanna Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Children presenting with recurrent fever may represent a diagnostic challenge. After excluding the most common etiologies, which include the consecutive occurrence of independent uncomplicated infections, a wide range of possible causes are considered. This article summarizes infectious and noninfectious causes of recurrent fever in pediatric patients. We highlight that, when investigating recurrent fever, it is important to consider age at onset, family history, duration of febrile episodes, length of interval between episodes, associated symptoms and response to treatment. Additionally, information regarding travel history and exposure to animals is helpful, especially with regard to infections. With the exclusion of repeated independent uncomplicated infections, many infective causes of recurrent fever are relatively rare in Western countries; therefore, clinicians should be attuned to suggestive case history data. It is important to rule out the possibility of an infectious process or a malignancy, in particular, if steroid therapy is being considered. After excluding an infectious or neoplastic etiology, immune-mediated and autoinflammatory diseases should be taken into consideration. Together with case history data, a careful physical exam during and between febrile episodes may give useful clues and guide laboratory investigations. However, despite a thorough evaluation, a recurrent fever may remain unexplained. A watchful follow-up is thus mandatory because new signs and symptoms may appear over time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number448
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 25 2016

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Keywords

  • Autoinflammatory disorders
  • Pediatric infectious diseases
  • Periodic fever
  • Recurrent fever

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications

Cite this

Torreggiani, S., Filocamo, G., & Esposito, S. (2016). Recurrent fever in children. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 17(4), [448]. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17040448