Reye's Syndrome


Reye syndrome is a serious but rare condition. It causes a build-up 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.

Risk Factors

Reye syndrome occurs most often in children aged 2-16 years, but it can occur in anyone. Other factors that may increase the chance of Reye syndrome include:
  • Use of aspirin or other salicylates, especially in children during viral illness like the flu or chickenpox
  • Recent viral illness, including:
  • Fatty acid oxidation disorder
  • Exposure to certain toxins


Symptoms usually occur after a viral illness and may include:
  • Frequent or persistent vomiting
  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Personality changes, such as irritability and aggression
  • Confusion
  • Disordered speech
  • Hallucinations
  • Convulsions
  • Rapid or deep breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
Later symptoms may progress to:
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • 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.


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:
Spinal Tap–Lumbar Puncture Method
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