Shivering and neuraxial anesthesia

Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2008 May-Jun;33(3):241-52. doi: 10.1016/j.rapm.2007.11.006.


Shivering, which usually occurs as a thermoregulatory response to cold, may also occur following general or neuraxial anesthesia. Some of the causative factors of this type of shivering may be common to both, but some are particular to neuraxial anesthesia. Although shivering may have beneficial thermoregulatory effects, it places the body under increased physiological stress. In a broad sample of 21 studies, the median incidence of shivering related to neuraxial anesthesia in the control groups was 55%. Both pharmacological and nonpharmacological mechanisms have been found to be effective in reducing this shivering. This review aims to elucidate the mechanisms of the shivering that occurs during neuraxial anesthesia, and to examine strategies for prevention and treatment of this shivering.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, Epidural / adverse effects*
  • Anesthesia, Spinal / adverse effects*
  • Body Temperature Regulation / drug effects
  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Shivering* / drug effects
  • Shivering* / physiology