September 1980

Reye's Syndrome and Pancreatitis

Author Affiliations

New York State Kidney Disease Institute Albany, NY 12201

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(9):903. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130210079030

Sir.—The report by Ellis et al in the Journal (133:1014-1016, 1979) describing the postmortem finding of acute pancreatitis in four of 18 children with Reye's syndrome led us to determine the frequency of acute pancreatitis in our patients with this syndrome. The records of 27 such patients hospitalized in Albany Medical Center Hospital, Albany, NY, during 1971 through 1979 were reviewed. Postmortem examination was performed in six of the 11 subjects. Acute diffuse interstitial pancreatitis was found in one subject, a boy. Serum amylase level determined during the acute illness in three patients who survived was within the normal range.

Although an association between Reye's syndrome and acute pancreatitis no doubt exists,1,2 the reason for this association remains unclear. It is possible that in Reye's syndrome, as well as in other diseases with hepatic dysfunction, the acute liver failure is the cause for the pancreatitis.3,4