Exercise-induced hyperthermia in childhood: a case report and pilot study


Tilmann Kallinich, M.D., Department of Pediatric Pulmonology and Immunology, Charité, Campus Virchow, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany.
Tel: +49-30-450-566128 |
Fax: +49-30-450-566931 |
Email: tilmann.kallinich@charite.de


Hyperthermia is characterized by an increase of body core temperature due to exogenous heat exposure and/or endogenous heat production. Contrary to fever the hypothalamic-controlled temperature set point remains unchanged.

Aim: To demonstrate that exercise-induced hyperthermia is a common phenomenon in childhood.

Case: We describe a 5-year-old boy, who attended our outpatient clinic with a 6-month observation period of exercise-induced hyperthermia with rectal temperatures up to 39.0°C. Characteristically temperature dropped to normal values after cessation of exercise.

Method: In eight children aged 5–8, tympanic and rectal temperatures were measured before and after exercise.

Results: The rectal temperature increases frequently after exercise (p < 0.001), whereas tympanic temperature did not (p = 0.2).

Conclusion:  Benign hyperthermia should be considered in children with increased body temperature of unknown sources. The site of temperature measurement might be critical in the identification of this condition.