What's the difference between Pyrexia, hyperthermia, & Febrile?


I know they all three have to do with elevated temperatures.. So what's the difference between them? What makes a person have a condition of pyrexia rather than hyperthermia? Or febrile?

klone, MSN, RN

14,477 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.

Pyrexia is a fancy medical term for fever. Febrile describes a patient who has a fever (or has pyrexia, if you want to be fancy), so essentially they're the same thing. Hyperthermia also means elevated temperature, but it implies that it has an exogenous source. Pyrexia is your body's natural response to infection or the inflammatory process; hyperthermia suggests that the rise in body temp is caused by something OTHER than the body's natural inflammatory process.


24 Posts

That explanation helped a lot. Thank you!!