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Hyperthermia syndromes in psychiatry

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Niraj Ahuja, Dr Andrew Cole


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Presence of fever in psychiatric patients may signify a number of potentially fatal conditions. Several of these are related to treatments (e.g. neuroleptic malignant syndrome with antipsychotics, serotonin syndrome with serotonergic antidepressants, and malignant hyperpyrexia with anaesthesia used for administration of electroconvulsive therapy) or exacerbated by them (e.g. malignant catatonia with antipsychotics). New classes of drug treatment may be changing the epidemiology of these disorders. We suggest that an initial diagnosis of hyperthermia syndrome is clinically useful as there are some important commonalities in treatment. We outline a systematic approach to identify a particular subtype of hyperthermia syndrome and the indications for more specific treatments where available.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ahuja N, Cole AJ

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Advances in Psychiatric Treatment

Year: 2009

Volume: 15

Issue: 3

Pages: 181-191

Print publication date: 01/05/2009

ISSN (print): 1355-5146

ISSN (electronic): 1472-1481


DOI: 10.1192/apt.bp.107.005090