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Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2013 Dec;10(6):608-15. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201303-052OC.

Fever is associated with delayed ventilator liberation in acute lung injury.

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  • 11 Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine and.



Acute lung injury (ALI) is characterized by inflammation, leukocyte activation, neutrophil recruitment, endothelial dysfunction, and epithelial injury, which are all affected by fever. Fever is common in the intensive care unit, but the relationship between fever and outcomes in ALI has not yet been studied. We evaluated the association of temperature dysregulation with time to ventilator liberation, ventilator-free days, and in-hospital mortality.


Analysis of a prospective cohort study, which recruited consecutive patients with ALI from 13 intensive care units at four hospitals in Baltimore, Maryland. The relationship of fever and hypothermia with ventilator liberation was assessed with a Cox proportional hazards model. We evaluated the association of temperature during the first 3 days after ALI with ventilator-free days, using multivariable linear regression models, and the association with mortality was evaluated by robust Poisson regression.


Of 450 patients, only 12% were normothermic during the first 3 days after ALI onset. During the first week post-ALI, each additional day of fever resulted in a 33% reduction in the likelihood of successful ventilator liberation (95% confidence interval [CI] for adjusted hazard ratio, 0.57 to 0.78; P < 0.001). Hypothermia was independently associated with decreased ventilator-free days (hypothermia during each of the first 3 d: reduction of 5.58 d, 95% CI: -9.04 to -2.13; P = 0.002) and increased mortality (hypothermia during each of the first 3 d: relative risk, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.06 to 2.66; P = 0.03).


Fever and hypothermia are associated with worse clinical outcomes in ALI, with fever being independently associated with delayed ventilator liberation.

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[Available on 2014/12/1]
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