Post-traumatic hyperthermia in acute brain injury rehabilitation

Brain Inj. 1994 May-Jun;8(4):335-43. doi: 10.3109/02699059409150984.


Fever frequently presents during recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI). Elevated body temperature may result from ensuing infection, thrombophlebitis, drug reaction, or a defect in the central thermoregulatory system such as seen in post-traumatic hyperthermia (PTH). Typically, the diagnosis of PTH follows only after thorough investigation. Literature supports the theory that the febrile TBI patient, lacking a documented source, has central hyperthermia. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of PTH in the acute rehabilitation setting. We reviewed a consecutive series of 84 TBI patients participating in a rehabilitation programme. Four per cent of the patients in this study met our criteria for PTH. We describe a fever protocol that should aid the physician in diagnosis and treatment of the febrile TBI patient. Proposed mechanisms involved in thermoregulation are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / complications
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / rehabilitation
  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rehabilitation Centers