September 1976

Reye Syndrome: Virus or Artifact in Liver?

Author Affiliations

Faculty of Medicine Murcia, Spain

Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(9):1035-1036. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120100125025

Sir.—Alvira and Mendoza1 reported virus-like particles in postmortem skeletal muscle from two patients who died of Reye syndrome. Hanson and Urizar2 express caution about that interpretation. These authors reported similar virus-like particles in postmortem examination of skeletal muscle in Reye syndrome, but point out that muscle biopsy performed on the same patient one hour before death failed to reveal the presence of similar structure. Hanson and Urizar believe, along with Schiller,3 that these virus-like particles result from the precipitation of some unidentified material, or represent rapid postmortem proliferation of a virus.

We have been able to study a case of Reye syndrome in a 9-month-old infant. The diagnosis was based on the analytic clinical examination, and was confirmed by means of a histological study with an optical and electronic microscope in an hepatic biopsy performed seven days after the first signs of the illness. The patient survived.

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