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January 1940


Author Affiliations


From the Medical Clinic of the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1940;65(1):163-170. doi:10.1001/archinte.1940.00190070173012

It is well known that fever often occurs in patients with congestive heart failure. During the early use of the clinical thermometer Wunderlich1 noted this finding, but he also said that subnormal temperatures were by no means uncommon.

In reviewing the medical literature it is surprising to find so little has been said either about fever in relation to congestive heart failure or concerning the frequency with which complications occur in patients suffering from that disease.

Harrison's2 opinion, as expressed in his book entitled "Failure of the Circulation," is as follows:

Fever in some degree occurs in a large proportion of patients with congestive heart failure. A slight increase in temperature may possibly be dependent on the increase in the metabolic rate which many patients exhibit, but fever of more considerable magnitude usually signifies infection, infarction, or thrombus formation. More commonly fever is to be ascribed to pulmonary