Systematic Literature Review of the Association of Fever and Elevated Temperature with Outcomes in Critically Ill Adult Patients

Link to article at PubMed

Ther Hypothermia Temp Manag. 2023 May 9. doi: 10.1089/ther.2023.0004. Online ahead of print.


Although most commonly associated with infection, elevated temperature and fever also occur in a variety of critically ill populations. Prior studies have suggested that fever and elevated temperature may be detrimental to critically ill patients and can lead to poor outcomes, but the evidence surrounding the association of fever with outcomes is rapidly evolving. To broadly assess potential associations of elevated temperature and fever with outcomes in critically ill adult patients, we performed a systematic literature review focusing on traumatic brain injury, stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic), cardiac arrest, sepsis, and general intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Searches were conducted in Embase® and PubMed® from 2016 to 2021, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, including dual-screening of abstracts, full texts, and extracted data. In total, 60 studies assessing traumatic brain injury and stroke (24), cardiac arrest (8), sepsis (22), and general ICU (6) patients were included. Mortality, functional, or neurological status and length of stay were the most frequently reported outcomes. Elevated temperature and fever were associated with poor clinical outcomes in patients with traumatic brain injury, stroke, and cardiac arrest but not in patients with sepsis. Although a causal relationship between elevated temperature and poor outcomes cannot be definitively established, the association observed in this systematic literature review supports the concept that management of elevated temperature may factor in avoidance of detrimental outcomes in multiple critically ill populations. The analysis also highlights gaps in our understanding of fever and elevated temperature in critically ill adult patients.

PMID:37158862 | DOI:10.1089/ther.2023.0004

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