Body temperature examination


The temperature of a healthy human, measured in the armpit, ranges from 36 to 37 degrees Celsius during the day.
   Subnormal temperature is lower than 36.2C and is related to restrained metabolism. It can be observed in elderly people, in chronic cachexia-causing diseases (tumours), in hypopituitarism, hypothyroidism, after excessive bleeding, and in shock.
   Subfebrile temperature does not exceed 38C; it accompanies focal infections (chronic tonsillitis or sinusitis, urinary infections, adnexitis).
   Fever (pyretic, febrile state) is marked by the body temperature raising above 38C. Condition with temperature ranging from 40 to 41C is called hyperpyrexia.
Fevers occur in inflammations, infectious diseases, systemic diseases, and in certain tumours (lymphomas, Grawitz's tumour).
The shape of the temperature curve bears distinctive features in certain diseases. Formerly, those features were supposed to be considerably important. The introduction of antibiotics into clinical practice has changed some former typical features. Just for completeness, we add the overview of the temperature types.
   Febris continua is marked by temperature fluctuation within 1C range during a 24-hour period (abdominal typhus, paratyphoid, croupous pneumonia, erysipelas).
   Febris remittens - daily fluctuation exceeds the 1C range, the temperature does not return to the normal value (infectious diseases).
   Febris intermittens (septic temperature) - temperature swiftly raises to 39C, swiftly falls below 37C, in 24-hour period the difference of the maximum and minimum temperatures is bigger than 1C (sepsis, e.g. cholangitis, urosepsis, infectious endocarditis).
   Febris recurrens - alternation of fever and apyretic periods of various duration.
   Febris undulans - periods of raising and falling temperatures alternating with apyretic periods (abdominal lymphomas, brucellosis).
   Febris efemera - one-day fever is caused by mild advancement of a respiratory infection, by blood transfusion, or by intravenous application of certain drugs.
   Febris hectica - long-lasting intermittent temperature, common in tuberculosis.


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