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August 1994

A Reemergence of Reye's Syndrome

Author Affiliations
Division of Pediatric Critical Care Department of Pediatrics The University of Utah School of Medicine 100 N Medical Dr Salt Lake City, UT 84113
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148(8):879-882. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1994.02170080109024

Reye's syndrome is a disorder of unknown cause. It is characterized by acute encephalopathy and fatty degeneration of the viscera, usually following a viral illness, particularly varicella or influenza. It has been associated with the use of aspirin during such infections.1 The incidence of Reye's syndrome has been decreasing annually since 1980; the 25 cases reported in the United States in 1989 was the lowest number reported since national surveillance began in 1976.2 As a consequence, less attention has been paid to Reye's syndrome in the recent medical literature. A recent pediatric textbook3 devoted less than two pages to Reye's syndrome. We herein describe five children with Reye's syndrome who were seen at one children's hospital during a 15-month period, suggesting that this disease is not vanishing.

Patient Reports.Patient 1. A previously healthy 7-year-old girl was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit in October 1991