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Pyrotherapy (artificial fever, therapeutic fever) is a method of treatment by raising the body temperature or sustaining an elevated body temperature (caused by a fever). In general, the body temperature was maintained at 41° Celsius(105° Fahrenheit) .[1] Many diseases were treated by this method in the first half of the 20th century. In general, it was done by exposing the patient to hot baths, warm air, (electric) blankets, or high-frequency steam. [2]


One example is the malariotherapy, the treatment of syphilis by the introduction of malaria, for which Julius Wagner-Jauregg won Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1927.[3]

The general paresis of the insane caused by neurosyphilis was effectively overcome by the method.[4]

Pyrotherapy was also employed in psychiatry. Of note here is the use of sulfozinum and pyrogenal that was relatively widespread in Soviet psychiatry.


  1. ^ Natuurwetenschap & Techniek Magazine, october 2010
  2. ^ Epstein NN (May 1936). "Artificial Fever as a Therapeutic Procedure". Cal West Med 44 (5): 357–8. PMC 1761228. PMID 18743642. 
  3. ^ The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1927, "for his discovery of the therapeutic value of malaria inoculation in the treatment of dementia paralytica" -
  4. ^ Raju T (2006). "Hot brains: manipulating body heat to save the brain". Pediatrics 117 (2): e320–1. doi:10.1542/peds.2005-1934. PMID 16452338. 


  • Braslow, Joel T. (1997). Mental ills and bodily cures: Psychiatric treatment in the first half of the twentieth century. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-20547-2.