- Pathogenesis: The hypothalamic set point increases, causing peripheral vasoconstriction (i.e., heat conservation). The pt feels cold as a result of blood shunting to the internal organs. Mechanisms of heat production (e.g., shivering, increased hepatic thermogenesis) help to raise the body temperature to the new set point. Increases in peripheral prostaglandin E2 account for the nonspecific myalgias and arthralgias that often accompany fever. When the set point is lowered again by resolution or treatment of fever, processes of heat loss (e.g., peripheral vasodilation and sweating) commence.
- Etiology: Most fevers are associated with self-limited infections (usually viral) and have causes that are easily identified.
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