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A Two-step Method Apparently Improved the Physicians' Level of Diagnosis Decision-making for Adult Patients With FUO

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02035670
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified May 2018 by Jianxin Song, Tongji Hospital.
Recruitment status was:  Enrolling by invitation
First Posted : January 14, 2014
Last Update Posted : May 7, 2018
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jianxin Song, Tongji Hospital

Brief Summary:

The purpose of this study is to determine whether two-step method of diagnostic strategy is effective in the diagnosis and treatment of fever of unknown origin (FUO). (TSMD research, a pilot study) Fever of unknown origin (FUO) is a fever in excess of 38.3◦C continued for more than 3 weeks, and its cause could not be identified by tests during hospitalization for more than 1 week [1]. As diagnostic techniques such as imaging technology and clinical tests have been developed and outpatient access to diagnostic tests have improved, the FUO is defined as a shortened period where the cause could not be revealed despite diagnostic tests during three visits to the outpatient department or during 3 days of hospitalization [2]. FUO can be caused by many diseases, and causes can vary depending on region and time period. FUO was first reported in the medical literature 80 years ago. Since then, the causative diseases have greatly changed with changes in the social environment and widespread use of diagnostic imaging. The causes of FUO, according to traditional diagnosis and treatment, could be divided into four principal groups: infections, non-infectious inflammatory diseases (NIID, including rheumatic diseases and vasculitic diseases), neoplasms, and other diseases. Despite the development of various diagnostic techniques, 34-51% of FUO patients remain undiagnosed [3,4]. In China, over-reliance on antibiotics for disease therapy and infection prevention are common phenomena in traditional treatment of FUO[5].

Two-step method of diagnostic strategy is a method to diagnose FUO disease. First step is to differentiate FUO according to the onset of disease and invasive pathogens. Second step is to further differentiate FUO according to trends of disease and inflammation scores. The diagnosis of FUO can be difficult for both patients and their physicians. Depending on the experience and qualifications of the treating physicians, time to reach a diagnosis can vary. Two-step method of diagnostic strategy would afford a standard method for physicians to diagnoses the FUO.

So many reports of FUO have also been published in China, but have been limited to single-facility or limited-region studies; no nationwide studies have yet been conducted. Moreover, few assessments of tests used in the diagnostic evaluation of FUO have been reported. In particular, few studies have assessed the clinical usefulness of tests such as serum procalcitonin or positron emission tomography (PET) in China, although these tests are now frequently used.

We therefore will conduct a multicenter collaborative retrospective and prospective (randomized and controlled )study of patients with FUO at hospitals affiliated with China's Ministry of Health. This is the first nationwide study in China on diseases causing FUO and the diagnostic workup, and identified diseases that should be considered when evaluating FUO in China. In addition, we will investigate the rate of performing various tests in the current diagnostic workup of FUO.

Classical FUO was diagnosed based on the definition by Durack et al[6] in patients meeting all of criteria 1-4 below.

1. Fever with axillary temperature ≥38°C at least twice over a ≥3-week period. 2. Unknown cause after three outpatient visits or during 3 days of hospitalization.

3. Not diagnosed with immunodeficiency before fever onset. 4. No confirmed HIV infection before fever onset. The data described below were collected. No additional testing was performed in this study due to insufficient data.

  1. Patient characteristics: sex, age, concomitant disease, medical history and medication history.
  2. Clinical findings: subjective symptoms and objective physical findings.
  3. Blood tests: blood count, biochemical examination and inflammatory markers (C reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), procalcitonin, etc.).
  4. Results of blood cultures if performed.
  5. Results of imaging studies and endoscopy if performed.
  6. Results of cytology, histology, genetic testing or autopsy findings if performed.
  7. Final diagnosis, day of diagnosis and outcome. This study is safety for no drug involved to determine the effectiveness of two-step method of diagnostic strategy in the diagnosis and treatment of fever of unknown origin.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment
Fever of Unknown Origin Other: Two-step diagnostic strategy

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Study Type : Observational [Patient Registry]
Estimated Enrollment : 600 participants
Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Target Follow-Up Duration: 24 Weeks
Official Title: A Multicenter Prospective,Randomized and Controlled Pilot Study on the Diagnostic Strategy of So-called Two-step Method in Patients With FUO
Actual Study Start Date : January 2014
Estimated Primary Completion Date : December 2018
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 2018

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Fever

Group/Cohort Intervention/treatment
tradition diagnostic strategy
According to the current diagnistic procedures of FUO
two-step diagnostic strategy

First step is to differentiate FUO according to the onset of disease and invasive pathogens.

Second step is to further differentiate FUO according to trends of disease and inflammation scores.

Other: Two-step diagnostic strategy

The first step is to differentiate FUO according to the onset of disease and invasive pathogens. Apart from collecting detailed present medical history and careful physical examination, it focuses on seeking the clues of bacterial invasion two weeks before the fever onset from five aspects.To finish this part, the doctor needs to ask for informations following a list we already made, which covers more than forty definite items. If some of these items were proved existed, result of first step would be positive.

The second step is calculating the integral score of inflammatory biomarkers and vital diagnostic clues, WBC& N, ESR, CRP, LDH, SF, ANCA, ANA, RF, PCT and T-Spot, as well as the clinical findings were included in this integrating system.The results of these items will be recorded and calculated with certain interval of time. If the score were more than nine, this part would be considered. positive.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. percentage of the FUO pateints being diagnosed correctly [ Time Frame: the patients discharged from hospital or after following of up to 24 weeks ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Probability Sample
Study Population

patients meeting the definition of Classical FUO :

  1. Fever with axillary temperature ≥38°C at least twice over a ≥3-week period.
  2. Unknown cause after three outpatient visits or during one week of hospitalization.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Clinical diagnosis of FUO
  • Agreed to take part in this study

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosed with immunodeficiency before fever onset.
  • Confirmed HIV infection before fever onset.
  • Hospitalized patients and hospital acquired infection cannot be ruled out
  • Medical history of serious mental illness
  • Medical history of severe seizures or using anticonvulsants currently
  • Confirmed with HIV infection before fever onset or organ transplant patients, using glucocorticoid or immunsuppression or any other patients who are not considered to be suitable for this study
  • having evidence of drug abuse or treat with methadone in the previous year
  • included in other clinical trials
  • unable or unwilling to provide informed consent or follow the request.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02035670

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China, Hubei
Huazhong University of Science and Technology,Tongji Medical College Affiliated Tongji Hospital
Wuhan, Hubei, China, 430030
Sponsors and Collaborators
Tongji Hospital
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Principal Investigator: Jianxin Song, MD Huazhong University of Scienc and Technology,Tongji Medical college affiliated Tongji Hospital
Additional Information:

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Responsible Party: Jianxin Song, professor, protomedicus, Tongji Hospital Identifier: NCT02035670    
Other Study ID Numbers: TJHust-P1312
P131221 ( Registry Identifier: Jianxin Song )
First Posted: January 14, 2014    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 7, 2018
Last Verified: May 2018
Keywords provided by Jianxin Song, Tongji Hospital:
diagnostic strategy
fever of unknown origin
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Fever of Unknown Origin
Body Temperature Changes