Title : DiffTemp™, a new way to assess increased body temperature as fever: Clinical implications
Assessment of body temperature
Assessment of body temperature is an important sign of health and disease, in everyday life, for medical decisions, for nursing care, and when ordering laboratory test. When assessing body temperature, we must understand thermoregulatory mechanisms and consider several ‘errors’, such as the influence of gender, age, diurnal rhythm and site of measurement. Though, when definitions of normal body temperature as 37 °C (98.6 °F) and ‘fever* as 38 °C (100.4 °F) was established in the middle of the 19th century, little was known about these “errors” as well as immunology, microbiology and technical accuracy. Although today there is a general acceptance of body temperature as a range rather than a fixed temperature, the traditional definitions of normal body temperature and fever still are considered the world-wide norm. As consequence there is a widespread confusion of the assessment and evaluation of body temperature
Assessment of fever
Fever is often increased as an adaptive, coordinated and systematic response to an immune stimulus, and as a self-limiting response in which thermoregulatory control remains intact, and generally requires no treatment. However, in the first instance most people think of fever as equating to an elevated body temperature because of infectious disease. In fact, it is common to ‘measure fever’ more than to measure body temperature. What is considered as increased temperature in fever is also related to site of measurement depending on temperature gradients within the body and the need of lag time for adjustment to the set point temperature, especially when body temperature is rising and falling
Aim of the presentation
It is of great importance to base the assessment and evaluation of temperature on evidence-based medicine, and not on tradition or personal belief. In this presentation we will argue for and discuss clinical consequences of a new way of defining fever, the so called DiffTemp™ i.e. at least 1.0 °C (33.8 °F) increase from individual body temperature, combined with malaise, as an accurate definition of temperature in fever.