Reye syndrome is a serious but rare condition. It causes a buildup of fat and swelling in most organs. Reye is most harmful to the liver and brain. It tends to occur during recovery from a viral infection.
The cause of Reye syndrome is unknown.
Reye syndrome is a serious but rare condition. It causes a buildup of fat and swelling in most organs. Reye is most harmful to the liver and brain.
It tends to occur during recovery from a viral infection.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
- Blood tests
- Spinal tap
Spinal Tap–Lumbar Puncture Method Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
The exact cause of Reye syndrome is not known, but the following may decrease the risk of Reyes syndrome:
- Do not give aspirin to children and teens with a current or recent viral infection. Check with your doctor before giving aspirin to a child or teen.
- Avoid giving children and teens medications that contain salicylates. Examples include Alka-Seltzer, Anacin, Bufferin, and Pepto-Bismol.
Reye syndrome occurs most often in children aged 2-16 years, but it can occur in anyone. Factors that may increase the risk of Reye syndrome include:
- Use of
or other salicylates,
especially in children during viral illness like the flu or chickenpox
Recent viral illness, including:
- Upper respiratory infection
- Fatty acid oxidation disorder
- Exposure to certain toxins
- Use of
Symptoms usually occur after a viral illness and may include:
- Frequent or persistent vomiting
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Personality changes, such as irritability and aggression
- Disordered speech
- Rapid or deep breathing
- Loss of consciousness
Later symptoms may progress to:
- Inability to breathe without help
Call a doctor right away if you or your child has any of these symptoms, especially after a viral infection.
Early diagnosis and treatment are important for a successful recovery.
Treatment is focused on protecting the brain and other organs from damage. Options include: