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What is Pel-Ebstein Fever?


Updated July 14, 2014

Question: What is Pel-Ebstein Fever?

Fever is one of important symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma. Individuals with Hodgkin Lymphoma may have a special pattern of fever that is thought to be very characteristic of this disease.

This fever is named after two European doctors Pel and Ebstein who noticed and reported this pattern of fever more than a century back.

The diagnosis of Pel-Ebstein fever is made by examining a patient's temperature over several weeks. It is a high-grade fever that can reach 40-40.5°C (105-106°F) and keeps rising and falling every 7-10 days. The fever rises abruptly, stays high for a week and then falls close to normal abruptly again, staying low for a week. Then this rise and fall pattern is repeated again.

Not all patients with Hodgkin disease have this pattern of fever. Only a minority of patients have this exact pattern. But when present it gives a strong indication to investigate for Hodgkin disease.

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