The possibility of great harm occurring as a sequel to marked elevations of body temperature is well known. Heat retention (also called heat stroke or heat pyrexia) may be associated with convulsions, coma, and psychic disturbances in the recovery phase.1 In fatal cases, generalized degeneration of the neurons of the central nervous system, centrolobular liver necrosis, lower nephron nephrosis, and widespread hemorrhages, especially in the lungs and subendocardial tissues, are found.2 The similarity of the pathological lesions found in patients dying following fever therapy and those produced by anoxia from any cause has been stressed by Hartman3; hypoxia occurs at the tissue level because of increased metabolic oxygen demand associated with fever, which cannot be met by the cardiorespiratory transport system.
It has been suggested that liver cells in addition to the cells of the central nervous system are particularly susceptible to damage during high fever.4
Clark RE, Orkin LR, Rovenstine EA. BODY TEMPERATURE STUDIES IN ANESTHETIZED MANEFFECT OF ENVIRONMENTAL TEMPERATURE, HUMIDITY, AND ANESTHESIA SYSTEM. JAMA. 1954;154(4):311–319. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940380021007
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