Fever : Pathogenesis, Types | Pediatric Oncall


Last Updated : 12/31/2010
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Ira Shah
Normal body temperature
The hypothalamus is the heat-regulating center of the body and helps in

maintaining a stable body temperature

. The normal body temperature ranges from 37.0 degree C and 37.5 degree C with evening temperatures being 0.5-1.0 degree C higher than in the morning. Oral temperature is about 0.4 degree C below as compared to rectal temperature and axillary temperature is about 1 degree C below rectal temperature.


Persistent elevation of body temperature above the normal levels

in an individual.

Pathogenesis of fever
Due to infection, inflammation or immunologic reaction, there is release of endogenous pyrogens by phagocytic cells. The pyrogen acts on the thermoregulatory center increasing heat generation. Prostaglandins released act on the vasomotor center and prevent heat loss. Thus body temperature rises.

Type of fever

Intermittent fever

- Fever that touches normal for a few hours during the day. It is seen in malaria, acute pyelonephritis, local boils and furuncles.

Remittent fever
- Fever that fluctuates between 1.5 degree F in 24 hours without touching normal.

Continuous fever
- Fever that does not touch normal and fluctuates less than 1.5 degree F in a day. It is seen in enteric fever, Bacterial endocarditis, viral pneumonia.

Contributor Information and Disclosures Ira Shah
Consultant Pediatrician, B.J.Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai, India

First Created : 2/28/2001
Last Updated : 12/31/2010
Contributor Information and Disclosures

Last Updated : 12/31/2010
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