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FEVER AND THE WATER RESERVE: A PHYSICOCHEMICAL THEORY

JAMA. 1919;73(9):693-694. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610350041016.
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In the course of the important studies by Woodyatt4 and his associates on intermediate carbohydrate metabolism, timed injections of glucose and other substances being given intravenously by means of ingenious motor-driven pumps, it was observed that under certain conditions fever would result.5 Fever came on when glucose was injected in such quantities that marked glycosuria and diuresis developed, provided that in the mean time, water was withheld until the body lost some weight. Under such conditions chills were noted also. Naturally the thought arose that under these conditions there might not be enough available water left in the body to cool it by evaporation, but of course the possibility that the sugar injections in some way disturbed a nervous heat-regulating center has to be considered.

Pediatricians have previously discussed these and other possible explanations of so-called sugar, salt and thirst fever, without reaching any definite settlement. The results

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