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Increased Temperature

June 25th, 2019

Increased Body Temperature

Increased temperature most often is related to fevers, however it is important to consider non-inflammatory causes of hyperthermia.
  • Classification

  • Fever - 37.5 - 38.3°C
  • Hyperthermia - 38.4 - 39.9°C
  • Hyperpyrexia - 40 - 41°C
  • Extreme hyperpyrexia - >41.5°C
Fevers occur when the body's 'set point' of temperature is set to a higher level than normal. This results in responses aimed at increasing body temperature, including vasoconstriction and shivering.
Non-inflammatory hyperthermia occurs when there is an imbalance in heat production and heat dissipation.
  • Causes of Increased Body Temperature

  • Fever

  • Infection - bacterial, protozoal, fungal, viral
  • Auto-immune conditions - rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, thyroiditis
  • Thromboembolism - DVT / PE
  • Metabolic disorders - gout
  • Transfusion reactions
  • Abnormal hypothalamic function - stroke, encephalitis, head trauma
  • Non-Inflammatory Causes

  • Excessive heat production - exertion, thyrotoxicosis, phaeochromocytoma, status epilepticus, tetany
  • Poor heat dissipation - heat stroke, dehydration, autonomic dysfunction, excessive clothing
  • Drug-induced - aspirin, stimulants, anticholinergics
  • Malignant hyperthermia (rare reaction to inhaled anaesthetics)
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