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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 6, Issue 6, Pages 252-255
Clinical Study

Frequency and Yield of Postoperative Fever Evaluation

Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Pathology, Medical College of Ohio, Richard D. Ruppert Health Center, 3120 Glendale Avenue, Toledo 43614-5809, OH, USA

Received 21 August 1998; Accepted 30 November 1998

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective: In women undergoing major gynecologic surgery, we wish to determine the frequency and yield of blood culture, urine culture, and chest X-ray evaluation of postoperative fever.

Methods: A retrospective review of 537 consecutive patients undergoing major gynecologic surgery was performed. In patients who developed postoperative fever, it was determined whether blood culture, urine culture, and/or chest X-ray were performed, and, if so, the frequency of positive results was evaluated.

Results: Two hundred eleven patients (39%) developed postoperative fever. Blood cultures were obtained in 77 of 211 (37%) febrile patients, urine cultures in 106 of 211 (50%) febrile patients, and chest X-ray in 54 of 211 (26%) febrile patients. Zero of 77 blood cultures were positive, 11 of 106 (10%) urine cultures were positive, and 5 of 54 (9%) chest X-rays were positive. Logistic regression revealed that late onset fever predicted for positive urine cultures and early onset fever and advanced age predicted for pneumonia. Eighty percent of patients with pneumonia were symptomatic. In 92% of patients with postoperative fever, no infections or pathologic process were diagnosed.

Conclusion: Although postoperative fever is frequently evaluated by blood culture, urine culture, and chest X-ray, evaluation rarely yields positive results.