Reye Syndrome – Symptoms and Treatment


Reye syndrome is a critical disease often found in Children and teenagers. A disease that causes inflammation in Liver and Brain can become very complicated and should be treated with care. Reye syndrome is mostly noticed in recovering patients from flu and virus. Reye syndrome in children can be very dangerous and can be dreadful. However, analyzing the disease properly and proper treatment at the right can save their life. Medical world has associated the Aspirin with Reye syndrome. It has been widely noticed that people on Aspirin often picks up the Reye syndrome and become chronic. Doctors thus advice patients especially who are in Aspirin, to be little more cautious about the syndrome and constantly monitor the condition along with observation of symptoms. Aspirin however is approved above two years old children. Chicken Pox is another important factor for Reye syndrome. Patient recovering from Chicken Pox can also pick up Reye’s syndrome.

roseola-rash in reye syndrome


Symptoms of Reye Syndrome

The Reye syndrome starts appearing typically 4-5 days after the viral infection. The most prominent impact that the Reye syndrome show is in the blood sugar level of children. The blood sugar level abruptly falls in case of Reye syndrome. On the other hand, the ammonia and acidity level in the blood increases suddenly. The inflammation in liver and brain further complicates the problem. The internal process is not as visible especially in children as they cannot express the feelings. However, external symptoms can help to identify and diagnose the Reye syndrome in children as well as in for teenagers.

Diarrhea becomes a very common symptom for the children. In addition repeated vomiting makes things worse. The symptoms are very common in the children below the age of two years. The children start breathing very rapidly as well. This is a warning sign for the parents, and they should immediately take the kid to the doctor.


For children above 2 and for teenagers, the symptoms are more elaborate and extend. They become extremely lethargic in nature. It has been noticed that the children show the symptoms of unusual and uncommon sleepiness for Reye syndrome.

The change in behavior can also be observed among the teenagers. They become irritative and also short tempered. Their aggression can be a symptom of Reye syndrome as well. But, the situation becomes worse when they suffer from confusion and lack of decision-making power. The teenager becomes disoriented and starts hallucinating due to Reye syndrome.

Consciousness level largely drops due to the syndrome. Convulsions and Seizures start slowly developing among them. Cases have been noticed where the patient suffers from paralysis especially in arms and in legs.

All the symptoms are serious issues and need immediate medical attention. As far as the criticality of the syndrome is concerned, it becomes dreadful if not treated properly and on time.


cdc criteria for reye syndrome

Treatment of Reye Syndrome

Even though, the fatal incidents due to Reye syndrome are rare but the incidents of brain damage and other metabolic disorders are common for Reye syndrome. Once the symptoms are observed, doctors generally carry out the Liver biopsy or the skin biopsy test for the determination and confirmation of the Reye syndrome. Once confirmed the treatment starts with immediate effect. If the patient is very serious then, a person can also be moved to Intensive Care Unit.

For the course of treatment, fluids are given in order to maintain the blood sugar and acidity level. Medication can also be given in case of loss of blood. If the aspirin level in blood is high, antagonists are applied to normalize it. Drugs and medication for Liver and Brain inflammation is also given.


Sometimes patients suffer from breathing problem and external oxygen support can be provided to them in case of an extreme condition.


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