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Hyperthermia associated with methamphetamine and cocaine use: A case series

Published:January 04, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2020.12.083
      Hyperthermia is defined as a core body temperature in excess of 40 °C (104 °F). It is distinguished from a fever, or pyrexia, which is body temperature greater than euthermia 38 °C (100.4 °F), and hyperpyrexia, defined as a core temperature greater than 41.5 °C (106.7 °F), by the lack of an alteration in the hypothalamic homeoregulatory set point from either severe infection or central nervous system hemorrhage [
      • Nixdorf-Miller A.
      • Hunsaker D.M.
      • Hunsaker 3rd, J.C.
      Hypothermia and hyperthermia medicolegal investigation of morbidity and mortality from exposure to environmental temperature extremes.
      ]. This occurs when excess core energy needed to be dissipated to maintain euthermia exceeds the body's regulatory mechanisms, either through a significant increase in core heat by external warming or internal heat production or through an impairment in the body's thermoregulatory mechanisms: radiation, evaporation, conduction, and convection. These four mechanisms provide a powerful means to maintain a safe functioning core temperature and are effective at maintaining euthermia up to an ambient temperature of about 130 °F [
      • Guyton A.C.
      • Hall J.E.
      Body temperature, temperature regulation, and fever. Textbook of medical physiology.
      ].
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