Absence of correlation between liver metastases and unexplained fever episodes

Dan Aderka, Dvora Kidron, Abraham Weinberger, Jack Pinkhas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


An accennpted, although debatable explanation for fever of unexplained origin (FUO) in cancer patients is the presence of liver metastases. This controlled study was aimed to determine whether FUO is more common in patients with liver metastases (Group A) as compared to those without evidence of spread to the liver (Group B). One hundred forty‐five patients were studied in each group. Fever of unknown origin was experienced by 45 patients of Group A (31%) and 39 of Group B (26.9%). The duration and the fever characteristics were comparable in both groups. There was no relationship between the extent of the liver metastases and the incidence of FUO. That FUO was not caused by the presence of liver metastases per se, is deduced also from the remission of fever in 18 preoperative episodes after the resection of the primary tumor only, in spite of the persistence of the liver metastases. The type of fever and its duration was similar in patients with or without liver metastases. Thirteen severe infectious conditions were missed by the premature adoption of the convenient diagnosis of “fever due to liver metastases.” Indomethacin, administered to normalize the fever incorrectly attributed to the liver metastases, obscured four of the above infectious conditions, with a fatal outcome. The authors conclude that the existence of “fever due to liver metastases” as an entity is not supported by the current study, and that the premature adoption of this diagnosis further compromised the outcome of patients with liver metastases and unexplained fever.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2830-2834
Number of pages5
Issue number12
StatePublished - 15 Jun 1985


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