Know about Temperature Curves | Medical Study Notes

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Let’s Know about Temperature Curves in medical conditions. The temperature curves give a clear picture of the nature of fever which often gives significant diagnostic and prognostic value in different diseases and conditions.

Know about Temperature Curves Medical study notes
Know about Temperature Curves Medical study notes

What is Temperature Curve?

Temperature curves are the graphic representation of the temperature fluctuations during the measurement of body temperature. Different types of temperature curves are there in different diseases and conditions.

When a physician is unable to identify the cause of fever in a patient, it is termed as an FUO (Fever of Unknown Origin).

 Body Temperature and Fever

Different types of body temperature should be known. At first, the Normal temperature should be known. when the temperature is more than normal then we called it fever. Fever is Low-grade fever, Moderate grade, high-grade fever.

Body temperature



Normal 37–38 98.6–100.4
Low-grade fever 38.1–39 100.5–102.2
Moderate grade fever 39.1–40 102.2–104.0
High-grade fever 40.1–41.1 104.1–106.0
Hyperpyrexia >41.1 >106.0

Temperature Curves Pattern in Fever

Temperature curves contain 3 periods of fever generally as :

  1. Initial Period ( Stadium Increments)
  2. Stage Hight of Fever (fastigium or acme)
  3. Stage of Temperature Reductions

1.Initial Period ( Stadium Increments)

The initial period is the stage of rising temperature also called stadium increments. Depending on the nature of the disease, this period may be very short and measured in a certain period of hours.

This usually accompanied by fever in malaria, lobar pneumonia. Also, it can be  stretch out on a long term of up to several days too like in typhoid fever

2. Stage Hight of Fever (fastigium or acme)

This is the fastigium or acme stage. In this, the fever lasts from serval hours to several days

3. Temperature reduction stage

In this stage, there will be an overall reduction in temperature. Temperature reduction is of type . one is a rapid decrease or drops in temperature while the next is there is a slow decrease in the temperature.

Rapid decrease or a rapid drop in temperature is called a “crisis”.   It usually happens in some disease conditions like malaria, lobar pneumonia, typhus;  while a gradual decrease called lysis. Lysis type of decrease in temperature is seen in typhoid and other conditions ( See  Fig. 9)

Know about Temperature Curves in Fever

1. Febris continua

It is a permanent fever. In this type, fever fluctuates between morning and evening temperature does not exceed 1 °С. This type of temperature curve is found in the first period of abdominal typhus, pneumonia.

2. Febris remittents

It is an indulgence type of fever. It Fluctuates in-between the time of morning and evening temperature exceeds 1-2 °С. Such type of curve observes due to viral infections, sepsis, in the second half of abdominal typhus.

3. Febris intermittent

It is an alternating type of fever. In this type of fever, there is rising periods of temperature (paroxysmuses) and alternate with periods of normal temperature (apirrhexions).
The Temperature of the body rises up to the level of 40 °С and higher, then holds for a few hours, goes down to the normal, and rises again. This fever is usually seen in malaria.
The paroxysmuses can rise
  • every 4th day  called as febris quartana,
  • every 3rd day  called as febris tertiana
  • or  in a daily basis called as febris quotidiana
The Periodicity of the temperature rise depends on the duration of the development cycle of malarial Plasmodium.
Paroxysmuses coincide during the course of the time of erythrocytes destruction   (after completion of the cycle).

4. Febris hectica

It is an exhausting type of fever. There will be daily fluctuation of it is equal 3-4°С and more. Sometimes the temperature can go down below the normal level. Such fever is typically found in sepsis, tuberculosis, malignant tumors.

5. Febris inverse

It is an inverted type of fever. There will be maximum temperature observed in the morning time and temperature decreases in the evening. Also at sometimes, the temperature goes to the normal range. It is also a typical fever pattern for sepsis and serious types of tuberculosis.

6. Febris recurrens

It is a recurrent fever. There are periods of rising temperature (5-8 days) and a normal level of temperature (nonfever periods).Found in recurrent type of  typhus, malaria infection

7. Febris undulans

It is simply an undulating fever. In the undulating fever, there is a slow increase in the body’s temperature during some term after that there its decreasing with a period of normal temperature. It is typical for brucellosis disease.

8. Febris irregularis

It is an irregular type of  fever (atypical). There is  fluctuations of the temperature daily. Febris irreularis is found typical for chronic bronchitis, chronic cholecystitis, rheumatism, and leucosis conditions


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