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July 5, 1952


Author Affiliations

New York
From the Memorial Hospital Center for the Treatment of Cancer and Allied Diseases.

JAMA. 1952;149(10):926-927. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930270020007

The maximal temperature rise in man from which there can be complete recovery is a question of both practical and theoretical interest, which perhaps, in the future, can be definitely answered on the basis of numerous well-documented reports. At present, a categorical statement concerning this is not possible. Undoubtedly, the duration of the hyperthermia is of great importance in survival. In the older literature, there are a number of fantastic reports of extreme hyperthermia, ranging from 120 to 170 F; it is obvious these are fradulent.

According to McNeal,1 114.8 F is the upper limit of hyperthermia that may be accepted as authentic without strong substantiating evidence. In his monograph on animal heat, Richet2 listed 109 instances of hyperthermia, ranging from 107.6 to 112.2 F, with only 13 instances of survival, a survival incidence of about 11% for the group. Castellani and Chalmers,3 under the classification "hyperpyrexial