[Exertional heatstroke]

Rev Med Suisse. 2012 Dec 12;8(366):2395-9.
[Article in French]


Exertional heatstroke is defined by an increase of core body temperature above 40 degrees C and neurological symptoms in association with exercise. It is related to excessive heat production, which overwhelms the endogenous mechanisms of thermoregulation. It is observed during intense physical activity in a hot and humid environment, most commonly in untrained subjects poorly adapted to such conditions. Clinical manifestations of exertional heatstroke are related to the induction of a systemic inflammatory response and a disseminated intravascular coagulation triggered by heat stress, which may lead to multiorgan dysfunction and death. Early management through rapid cooling is mandatory to prevent the devastating consequences of exertional heatstroke.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology
  • Heat Stress Disorders / etiology
  • Heat Stress Disorders / physiopathology
  • Heat Stroke / diagnosis
  • Heat Stroke / etiology*
  • Heat Stroke / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Risk Factors