In 1963 Reye et al1 characterized acute encephalopathy with fatty degeneration of the viscera as a distinct clinicopathologic entity of childhood. An association of this syndrome with clinically diagnosed or suspected chickenpox has been reported a number of times.2-7 In addition, several earlier reports on central nervous system complications of chickenpox include cases that in retrospect would be considered typical or suggestive of Reye's syndrome.8-12 Although the diagnosis of chickenpox has been questioned or seriously doubted in certain cases,1-4 clinical and epidemiologic experience suggests that the observed rash illness was chickenpox in at least some, if not all, of the cases reported. However, pathologic evidence has been meager, and serologic data pointing to infection with varicella-zoster virus have not been previously reported.
In connection with numerous cases of Reye's syndrome, family contacts have experienced minor symptoms, often similar to the patient's prodromal illness, at approximately the
Glick TH, Ditchek NT, Salitsky S, Freimuth EJ. Acute Encephalopathy and Hepatic Dysfunction: Associated With Chickenpox in Siblings. Am J Dis Child. 1970;119(1):68–71. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1970.02100050070016
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