Reye syndrome

  • Reye’s syndrome is a condition characterised by noninflammatory encephalopathy and hepatic failure due to aspirin intake during the course of a viral illness
  • The viral illnesses which predispose to reye syndrome include
    • upper respiratory tract infection
    • chicken pox
    • influenza
    • gastroenteritis
  • It occurs in children
  • Pathogenesis
    • the exact cause in not known
    • It is suggested that salicylates cause mitochondrial dysfunction in virus infected cells
    • The metabolic pathways affected are
      • oxidative phosphorylation
      • beta oxidation of fatty acids
  • Differential diagnosis
    • Meningitis
    • viral encephalitis
    • Head injury
    • Other causes of hepatic failure

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