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January 1986

Fatty Liver in Sudden Childhood Death: Implications for Reye's Syndrome?

Author Affiliations

From the Office of the Medical Examiner (Dr Bonnell), the Departments of Pathology (Drs Bonnell and Beckwith) and Pediatrics (Dr Beckwith), University of Washington, and the Children's Hospital (Dr Beckwith), Seattle. Dr Bonnell is now with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC. Dr Beckwith is now with the Department of Pathology, Children's Hospital, Denver.

Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(1):30-33. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140150032027

• We studied the livers of 21 children dying a traumatic death or sudden unexpected natural death and found that fatty metamorphosis of the liver appears to be ubiquitous. Therefore, the finding of microvesicular panlobular fatty liver alone does not justify the diagnosis of Reye's syndrome. In fact, because fatty change appears to be so prevalent, previous reports that relied on fatty changes as diagnostic of Reye's syndrome cannot be validated.

(AJDC 1986;140:30-33)