The 84-year-old, who has wrestled with health problems for years, was admitted to the hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, on Tuesday.
His family hopes he will be able to return home in a day or two, said the Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu, one of the archbishop’s daughters.
Tutu, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his efforts to end apartheid in his native South Africa, has remained active well into his 80s with the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation and other organizations.
He previously underwent hospital tests for a persistent infection in 2013.
Last year, he canceled travel plans because of his long-running battle with prostate cancer.