Poikilothermia may be defined as a state wherein the body temperature of an organism tends to approach at all times that of the surrounding medium. No thermostatic control from within is present to maintain a constant body temperature by increasing or decreasing heat production and storage as the environmental temperature changes.
A transient state of poikilothermia is occasionally observed in premature infants, but it seldom persists after the first week of life. It is usually regarded as a sign of immaturity of the central nervous system. Aside from this, poikilothermia in human beings is a rare condition. The only case that has come to our attention is that reported by Davidson and Friedman.1 Their patient was an infant who during his twenty-nine days of life showed instability of body temperature, tremors, athetosis and xanthochromia of the spinal fluid. At autopsy the hypothalamic nuclei were found to be extensively invaded
MACLAREN WR, CORREA O. POIKILOTHERMIA IN AN ACHONDROPLASTIC DWARF: RESULTS OF MEASUREMENTS OF HEAT PRODUCTION AT VARIOUS TEMPERATURES. Am J Dis Child. 1943;66(1):37–42. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1943.02010190044006
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