Introduction

Fever has been recognized as a characteristic sign of ill health for centuries. More recently it has been recognized as a cardinal sign of either infection or tissue injury. Body temperature is normally very tightly regulated by a feedback mechanism whereby the thermoregulatory center in the preoptic hypothalamus controls a variety of 'effector' mechanisms to maintain normothermia. In the critical care setting, fever is not usually the consequence of dysregulation of temperature control but rather of intact regulation with resetting of the thermoregulatory set-point at a higher level than 'normal'.

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