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August 1936


Author Affiliations

From the Pediatric Service of Dr. Béla Schick, Sea View Hospital, Staten Island, N. Y.

Am J Dis Child. 1936;52(2):266-279. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1936.04140020009002

There is known to be an increase in metabolism in all infections. As fever is nearly always present, it is difficult to say whether this increase is due to the fever or to other factors. It is known that fever produces a rise in basal metabolism—a rise which follows van't Hóff's law, which may be stated as follows: With an increase in temperature of 10 C. (18 F.), the velocity of chemical reactions increases between two and three times. DuBois1 studied the metabolism in the various fevers and found that in 90 per cent of them the course closely followed this law. The increase in metabolism associated with fever is largely the result of the toxic destruction of protein which occurs more or less in all infections. The more toxic the condition, the greater the destruction of body protein, and the higher, therefore, the metabolism.

In febrile tuberculosis the