Reye Syndrome

Also known as: Reye’s syndrome.

What is Reye syndrome?

Reye syndrome is a disorder that causes swelling and damage to the brain and liver that come on quite suddenly. It used to be common in children during treatment of the flu or chickenpox, but thankfully the condition has become increasingly rare.

What causes Reye syndrome?

Children used to develop Reye syndrome when treated with aspirin for the flu or chickenpox, but the precise reason why the disease occurs has never been clear. It occurs less and less now that aspirin is not given to children very frequently.

What are the symptoms of Reye syndrome?

Symptoms of Reye syndrome come on quickly. The disease often starts with vomiting, then irritability, aggressiveness, fatigue, confusion, mental changes, seizures and even loss of consciousness and coma.

What are Reye syndrome care options?

Reye syndrome is a dangerous, life-threatening condition that requires emergency care, including IV fluids, steroids to reduce brain swelling and breathing support. Those who survive an acute attack tend to have a good outcome.

Reviewed by: Paul A Cardenas, MD

This page was last updated on: March 20, 2019 04:09 PM