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Article
July 1986

What Is the Best Treatment for Reye's Syndrome?

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Drs Shaywitz, Lister, and Duncan), Neurology (Dr Shaywitz), Anesthesiology (Dr Lister), Surgery (Neurosurgery) (Dr Duncan), and the Yale Child Study Center (Dr Shaywitz), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Neurol. 1986;43(7):730-731. doi:10.1001/archneur.1986.00520070084024
Abstract

Reye's syndrome is the most common metabolic encephalopathy of childhood, occurring with a prevalence of 0.8 to 5.5 cases per 100 000 in children 17 years of age and younger. Clinically, the disorder is characterized by persistent vomiting and progressive deterioration in the level of consciousness without focal neurological signs. Seizures are not a usual feature, though these may occur secondary to hypoglycemia, which may complicate Reye's syndrome in infants. However, the most malignant component of the disease is cerebral edema and elevation of intracranial pressure (ICP). The diagnosis of Reye's syndrome is established by documenting abnormal results of liver function tests, particularly elevation of blood ammonia and aspartate aminotransferase levels and a lengthened prothrombin time.

Although cases were probably observed earlier, it was described simultaneously in 1963 by Douglas Reye, an Australian pathologist, and George Johnson, an American pediatrician. Reye described the pathologic features in 21 cases observed over

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