Hyperpyrexia: What is it? Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Hyper means abnormal increase and pyrexia refers to fever. Fever is when the body temperature rises above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hyperpyrexia occurs when the body temperature rises above 106.7 degrees Fahrenheit. This is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate medical treatment.

Hyperpyrexia is an emergency condition where the body temperature rises above normal. Another name for hyperpyrexia is hyperthermia.

This occurs when the body temperature of an infected person increases abnormally at a temperature range of approximately 106.7 ℉ and is not due to any physical or mechanical activity.

In most cases, the increase in temperature occurs when the part of the brain that controls body temperature can not function as well as possible, as a result of infection, brain injury, trauma or due to the side effects of some drugs.

This increase in temperature-triggering factors increases muscle fit and, therefore, causes a cold sensation in a person experiencing hyperpyrexia.

In general, the body temperature is regulated within a narrow range, which fluctuates in a predictable manner to adjust according to the ambient temperature.

The compensatory mechanisms for temperature regulation provide a thermal homeostasis through autonomous nervous control, for example, alteration of muscle tone, derivation of blood flow to and from peripheral vascular beds, and causing heat or heat seeking behavior. .

Exogenous substances as components of the bacterial cell wall (lipopolysaccharides), degradation products, bacterial endotoxins, drugs, immune complexes and complement factors induce activated polymorphonuclear cells to release a group of endogenous pyrogenic cytokines.

These cellular mediators, known as interleukins (IL) -1 and IL-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interferon G, induce the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) by endothelial cells.

In the vascular region of the prepoptic nucleus of the anterior hypothalamus, PGE2 diffuses the short distance between the neurons of the temperature control center.

Symptoms of hyperpyrexia

The symptoms of hyperpyrexia include an uncontrollable increase in body temperature due to the inability of the body to regulate the body’s temperature to its normal state.

Other symptoms include cold, loss of appetite, pain throughout the body or some joints of the body, headache and some unusual circumstances such as vomiting (this usually occurs in young children).

Causes of hyperpyrexia

The hypothalamus is the thermostat of our body. It is found in the brain and regulates body temperature. Hyperpyrexia causes the hypothalamus to change the set point of the body’s normal body temperature.

Hyperpyrexia is caused mainly by inflammation in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which is responsible for the regulation of body temperature. This inflammation may be associated with infection, brain injury, mechanical injury, trauma or accidental damage.

Hyperpyrexia may also be idiopathic in nature, meaning that it belongs to an unknown source. However, it is commonly observed that some drugs such as anesthetics, deployment agents.

Normally, the normal temperature for humans is set at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. In the case of an infection or trauma, this can raise the thermostat.

When the thermostat rises, our body reacts and increases our temperature, which, in the case of hyperpyrexia, would be higher than 106.7 degrees.

Hyperpyrexia treatments

Hyperpyrexia is an emergency medical condition. The treatment goes for the decrease in body temperature to 39 ℃. The patient should be covered with wet sheets or towels and sprinkled with ice water while blowing air or blown on it to advance refrigeration by evaporation.

As an option, the patient may be soaked in cold water. The appendages gently knead to advance dissemination. At the moment when the body temperature drops to 38 degrees, the patient should change to a cool room and look for a higher temperature rise.

Hyperpyrexia in children

Children who come to an emergency department with hyperpyrexia are at the same risk of viral and bacterial infection and should be treated with antibiotics, according to the results of a prospective study published in the July issue of Pediatrics.

Previous studies of children with temperatures of 106 ° F (hyperpyrexia) do not agree on whether hyperpyrexia confers a high risk of serious bacterial infection (SBI), “writes Barbara W. Trautner, MD, of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Tex. and colleagues.

The aim of our study was to evaluate the incidence of SBI in children who attend the emergency department with hyperpyrexia and determine if some aspects of their presentation were predictive of SBI risk.

Over a period of 2 years, the researchers prospectively collected data on all children under the age of 18 who presented to a pediatric and had rectal temperatures of 106 ° F.

All patients were evaluated with history, physical examination, complete blood cell count, blood cultures and nasopharyngeal viral cultures.

Of 130,828 visits, 103 children had hyperpyrexia, or 1 for 1270 patient visits. Of these 103 subjects, 20 had severe bacterial infection and 22 had laboratory-proven viral disease.

One subject had bacterial / viral coinfection. The underlying chronic disease or diarrhea was associated with an increased risk of SBI, and rhinorrhea or any other viral symptom (excluding diarrhea) was associated with a lower risk of SBI.

Age, maximum temperature and total white blood cell count were not useful to distinguish bacterial from viral diseases.

“Children with hyperpyrexia have an equally high risk of severe bacterial infection and viral disease,” the authors write. No aspect of the clinical presentation reliably distinguishes between bacterial and viral disease.

We recommend considering antibiotic treatment for all children who come to the emergency department with hyperpyrexia without confirmed viral disease.

The limitations of the study include the limited sample size, the study time before the widespread use of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in children and the lack of identified etiology for fever in the majority of children with fever in this study.

“We conclude that hyperpyrexia is a medical emergency that carries a high risk of SBI,” the authors conclude. These findings should be true despite the subsequent introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

We recommend antibiotic treatment for all children with hyperpyrexia who do not have a confirmed viral disease and for all children with hyperpyrexia and a confirmed viral disease who are sick enough to require hospitalization.