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Reye syndrome is a rare pediatric condition characterized by acute onset encephalopathy, severe vomiting and fatty liver failure. It typically presents in children recovering from a viral illness, most commonly influenza or chickenpox 1.
Reye syndrome is usually seen between the ages of 5 and 14 2.
The disease is very strongly associated with recent salicylate therapy. For this reason, administration of aspirin to children is usually contraindicated, and reserved only for specific scenarios 3.
Treatment and prognosis
Treatment is supportive, often involving ICU care. Mortality from Reye syndrome is 20-40%.
History and etymology
The disease was first described by the Australian pathologist Ralph Douglas Kenneth Reye in 1963 2.
- 1. Feigin, Ralph D., 1938-. Feigin & Cherry's Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. (2009) ISBN: 9781416040446 - Google Books
- 2. Jennifer Chapman & Justin K. Arnold. Reye Syndrome. StatPearls Publishing. 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526101/ - Pubmed
- 3. John E. Bennett, Raphael Dolin, Martin J. Blaser. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. (2019) ISBN: 9780323482554 - Google Books