Bench-to-bedside review: Mechanisms and management of hyperthermia due to toxicity

Florian Eyer, Thomas Zilker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Body temperature can be severely disturbed by drugs capable of altering the balance between heat production and dissipation. If not treated aggressively, these events may become rapidly fatal. Several toxins can induce such non-infection-based temperature disturbances through different underlying mechanisms. The drugs involved in the eruption of these syndromes include sympathomimetics and monoamine oxidase inhibitors, antidopaminergic agents, anticholinergic compounds, serotonergic agents, medicaments with the capability of uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation, inhalation anesthetics, and unspecific agents causing drug fever. Besides centrally disturbed regulation disorders, hyperthermia often results as a consequence of intense skeletal muscle hypermetabolic reaction. This leads mostly to rapidly evolving muscle rigidity, extensive rhabdomyolysis, electrolyte disorders, and renal failure and may be fatal. The goal of treatment is to reduce body core temperature with both symptomatic supportive care, including active cooling, and specific treatment options.

Original languageEnglish
Article number236
JournalCritical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - 6 Dec 2007


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