Background/Aims: Patients with chronic kidney disease undergoing hemodialysis have an altered homeostasis leading to altered body temperatures. We aimed to determine the range for normal body temperature in hemodialysis patients and compared it to healthy individuals. Also, we determined how much axillary temperatures differed from oral temperatures in both groups and whether axillary temperature is affected by the presence of an arteriovenous fistula (AVF) in hemodialysis patients. Methods: Oral and axillary (left & right) temperatures were recorded using an ordinary mercury-in-glass thermometer in 400 subjects (200 hemodialysis patients, 200 healthy individuals) at the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation from mid-May to mid-June 2006. Comparisons were made between the temperatures of both groups. Results: Mean oral temperature in hemodialysis patients was higher than in healthy individuals [98.7°F (37°C) vs. 98.4°F (36.8°C); p < 0.001], as was the mean average axillary temperature [97.7°F (36.5°C) vs. 97.5°F (36.3°C); p = 0.02] and mean left axillary temperature [97.9°F (36.6°C) vs. 97.6°F (36.4°C); p < 0.001]. The fistula arm had higher axillary temperature in 77 (44%) hemodialysis patients. The difference between oral and axillary temperatures varied widely, making it impossible to obtain an accurate correction factor in both groups. Conclusion: Hemodialysis patients have higher normal body temperatures than healthy individuals. Axillary temperatures require cautious interpretation. In hemodialysis patients, the non-fistula arm should be preferred for recording axillary temperatures, as the presence of AVF may cause discrepancies in temperature measurements.
- Chronic kidney disease