Epidural fever

Authors: Hlinecká Kristýna 1;  Bartošová Tereza 2;  Bláha Jan 2
Authors‘ workplace: Gynekologicko-porodnická klinika 1. LF UK a VFN v Praze 1;  Klinika anesteziologie, resuscitace a intenzivní medicíny 1. LF UK a VFN v Praze 2
Published in: Ceska Gynekol 2021; 86(5): 355-361
Category: Review article
doi: 10.48095/cccg2021355


Epidural analgesia (EPA) is the most effective method of intrapartum pain relief and is considered to be very safe. Recently, it has been used in up to 34% of parturients with EPA and is also associated with maternal temperature elevations during labor. The mechanism of this epidural-associated fever remains incompletely understood. The most likely etiology seems to be non-infectious inflammation caused by an epidural catheter. However, some authors deny this association. They theorize it is caused by selection bias only, as EPA is more often required by women with more painful and prolonged or more complicated labor, where temperature elevation is due to other causes. They point out that in some studies, fever was correlated to EPA only with concurrent placental inflammation. Maternal fever, despite the cause, either infectious or non-infectious origin, carries important clinical and public health implications. Further research that evaluates maternal epidural status and its influence on maternal or neonatal fever could improve sepsis evaluation and lead to worldwide decrease of unnecessary antibio­tic exposure.


epidural analgesia – epidural fever – thermoregulation


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