Elevated temperature results in worse outcome in experimental models of cerebral ischemia and brain trauma. In critically ill neurologic and neurosurgical patients, elevated body temperature is common and is associated with neurologic deterioration and poor outcome. We sought to determine whether, after controlling for age, severity of illness, and complications, elevated body temperature remained an important predictor of intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital length of stay, mortality rate, and hospital disposition in a large cohort of patients emergently admitted to a neurologic ICU.Design:
Prospectively collected data (demographics, diagnosis, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score, Glasgow Coma Scale score, daily maximum temperature, complications, disposition) were retrospectively reviewed.Setting:
A 20-bed neurology/neurosurgery ICU in a tertiary care academic, level I trauma, referral center.Subjects:
From 6,759 admissions, those admitted after an elective procedure with length of stay ≤1 day, those <18 yrs old, and those with incomplete data were excluded, leaving 4,295 patients for this analysis. First, a hierarchical multiple regression analysis was performed to determine whether elevated body temperature was an independent predictor of length of stay. Second, a path analysis was performed to define the relationships among elevated body temperature, complications, and length of stay. Finally, a matched, weighted sample was developed to quantify the difference in length of stay.Interventions:
None.Measurements and Main Results:
We measured ICU and hospital length of stay, mortality rate, and discharge disposition. The presence of elevated body temperature was associated with a dose-dependent longer ICU and hospital length of stay, higher mortality rate, and worse hospital disposition. The most important predictor of ICU length of stay was the number of complications (β = .681) followed by elevated body temperature (β = .143). In the matched, weighted population, the presence of elevated body temperature was associated with 3.2 additional ICU days and 4.3 additional hospital days.Conclusion:
In a large cohort of neurologic ICU patients, after we controlled for severity of illness, diagnosis, age, and complications, elevated body temperature was independently associated with a longer ICU and hospital length of stay, higher mortality rate, and worse outcome.