Hypothermia: pathophysiology, clinical settings, and management

Ann Intern Med. 1978 Oct;89(4):519-27. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-89-4-519.


Hypothermia, defined as a core temperature less than 35 degrees C, is frequently not recognized, in part because of the inadequacy of standard thermometers. This entity has multiple causes and unique pathophysiologic consequences that complicate diagnosis and treatment. Understanding of the physiology of thermoregulation is important in light of recent advances in therapy using core rewarming. Pathophysiology, etiology and management of the hypothermia syndrome are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents
  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Body Temperature Regulation
  • Brain Diseases / complications
  • Hemodynamics
  • Hot Temperature / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus
  • Hypothermia* / etiology
  • Hypothermia* / physiopathology
  • Hypothermia* / therapy
  • Methods
  • Myxedema / complications
  • Skin Diseases / complications
  • Syndrome