SINCE its initial description in Australia in 1963,1 Reye's syndrome has been reported from South Africa,2 Czechoslovakia,3 and the United States.4-6 To date there have been 84 cases reported, with 70 deaths6 and a mortality of 83%. Excepting Reye's original report of 21 patients and Anderson's report the same year, cases have been reported singly or in small clusters, the latter reports suggesting a common etiologic agent. Yet in spite of appropriate viral studies and inquiries into possible access to drugs and poisons, no virus or toxic agent has been consistently identified with this disease.
In 1965, we reported the death of an 8-year-old boy with Reye's syndrome.4 Of epidemiologic interest was the fact that a sibling concurrently developed a similar illness with elevated transaminase values consistent with a mild form of the syndrome. The sibling's sensorium remained clear and he made a spontaneous