Hormonal hyperthermia: endocrinologic causes of fever

Am J Med. 1979 Feb;66(2):257-63. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(79)90542-4.


Although hyperthermia is a component of many endocrine diseases, it is uncommon for fever to be the presenting manifestation of hormonal disorders. During a four year period we encountered six patients, hospitalized principally because of fever, who were found to have endocrine causes for the fever. In all, the admitting diagnosis was infection; three were suspected of having tuberculosis, two of gram-negative bacteremia and one of endocarditis. Except for asymptomatic bacteriuria in one patient (who remained febrile despite appropriate antibiotic therapy) infection was ruled out in all cases, and fever was attributed to "masked" thyrotoxicosis, triiodothyronine (T3) toxicosis, subacute thyroiditis, primary adrenal insufficiency, secondary adrenal insufficiency and pheochromocytoma. In a seventh patient, extreme pyrexia developed in the setting of the thyroid storm. The importance of hormonal mechanisms in thermoregulation is discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Addison Disease / complications
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / complications
  • Adrenal Insufficiency / complications
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / blood
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Endocrine System Diseases / complications*
  • Endocrine System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / etiology*
  • Hormones / blood*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Hyperthyroidism / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pheochromocytoma / complications
  • Thyroiditis / complications
  • Thyrotropin / blood
  • Thyroxine / blood
  • Triiodothyronine / blood


  • Hormones
  • Triiodothyronine
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Thyrotropin
  • Thyroxine
  • Hydrocortisone