Reye syndrome is sudden (acute) brain damage and liver function problems. This condition does not have a known cause.
This syndrome has occurred in children who were given aspirin when they had chickenpox or the flu. Reye syndrome has become very rare. This is because aspirin is no longer recommended for routine use in children.
There is no known cause of Reye syndrome. It is most often seen in children ages 4 to 12. Most cases that occur with chickenpox are in children ages 5 to 9. Cases that occur with the flu are most often in children ages 10 to 14.
Children with Reye syndrome get sick very suddenly. The syndrome often begins with vomiting. It may last for many hours. The vomiting is quickly followed by irritable and aggressive behavior. As the condition gets worse, the child may be unable to stay awake and alert.
Other symptoms of Reye syndrome:
Other symptoms that can occur with this disorder include:
There is no specific treatment for this condition. The health care provider will monitor the pressure in the brain, blood gases, and blood acid-base balance (pH).
Treatments may include:
Deepak Dinakaran is in Edmonton, Canada. Dinakaran is rated as a Distinguished expert by MediFind in the treatment of Reye Syndrome. He is also highly rated in 1 other condition, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Reye Syndrome and Liver Failure.
Anais Brassier is in Paris, France. Brassier is rated as a Distinguished expert by MediFind in the treatment of Reye Syndrome. She is also highly rated in 26 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Lysosomal Acid Lipase Deﬁciency, Wolman Disease, Reye Syndrome, and Cholesteryl Ester Storage Disease.
Sukru Arslan is in Istanbul, Turkey. Arslan is rated as a Distinguished expert by MediFind in the treatment of Reye Syndrome. They are also highly rated in 2 other conditions, according to our data. Their top areas of expertise are Reye Syndrome, Serum Sickness, Poststreptococcal Glomerulonephritis, and Reflux Nephropathy.
How well a person does depends on the severity of any coma, as well as other factors.
The outcome for those who survive an acute episode may be good.
Complications may include:
When untreated, seizures and coma may be life threatening.
Go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911) immediately if your child has:
Never give a child aspirin unless told to do so by your provider.
When a child must take aspirin, take care to reduce the child's risk of catching a viral illness, such as the flu and chickenpox. Avoid aspirin for several weeks after the child has received a varicella (chickenpox) vaccine.
Note: Other over-the-counter medicines, such as Pepto-Bismol and substances with oil of wintergreen also contain aspirin compounds called salicylates. DO NOT give these to a child who has a cold or fever.
Published Date : August 29, 2020
Published By : Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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