Hyperthermia, Inflammation, and Perinatal Brain Injury

Pediatr Neurol. 2013 Jul;49(1):8-14. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2012.12.026. Epub 2013 May 15.


Hyperthermia at the time of or following a hypoxic-ischemic insult has been associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcome. Moreover, an elevation in temperature during labor has been associated with a variety of other adverse neurologic sequelae such as neonatal seizures, encephalopathy, stroke, and cerebral palsy. These outcomes may be secondary to a number of deleterious effects of hyperthermia including an increase in cellular metabolic rate and cerebral blood flow alteration, release of excitotoxic products such as free radicals and glutamate, and hemostatic changes. There is also an association between chorioamnionitis at the time of delivery and cerebral palsy, which is thought to be secondary to cytokine-mediated injury. We review experimental and human studies demonstrating a link between hyperthermia and perinatal brain injury.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injuries / pathology
  • Brain Injuries / therapy
  • Chorioamnionitis / diagnosis
  • Chorioamnionitis / pathology
  • Chorioamnionitis / therapy
  • Female
  • Fever / diagnosis*
  • Fever / pathology
  • Fever / therapy
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / diagnosis
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Inflammation / therapy
  • Inflammation Mediators / physiology
  • Perinatal Care* / methods
  • Pregnancy


  • Inflammation Mediators