by Michelle Badash, MS
Reyes syndrome is a serious but rare condition. It causes a build up of fat and swelling in most organs. Reyes is most harmful to the liver and and brain.
It tends to occur during recovery from a viral infection. Early treatment is important for a recovery.
The cause of Reyes syndrome is unknown.
Risk Factors TOP
Reyes occurs most often in children aged 2-16 years but can occur in anyone. Factors that may increase the risk of Reyes syndrome include:
Symptoms usually occur after a viral illness and may include:
Later symptoms may progress to:
Call a doctor immediately 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. Blood tests will be done to evaluate the liver function. To eliminate possibility of other illnesses or disease, your doctor may order tests such as:
Early diagnosis and treatment are important for a successful recovery.
Treatment is focused on protecting the brain and other organs from damage. Options include:
Medications may help to:
Glucose and electrolytes may also be given through IV.
The brain, heart, and lungs will be carefully monitored. This will help the doctor begin supportive treatments as soon as possible.
As the condition progresses more care may be needed. Some advanced care options include:
The exact cause of Reyes is not known but the following may decrease the risk of Reyes syndrome:
American Academy of Pediatrics
National Reye's Syndrome Foundation
About Kids Health
Alberta Children's Services
Kleigman RM, Jensen HB, Behrman RE, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007.
Reye Syndrome. American Liver Foundation website. Available at: http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/info/reye/ . Accessed February 28, 2013.
Reyes Syndrome. National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.n... . Accessed February 28, 2013.
What is Reyes Syndrome? National Reyes Syndrome website. Available at: http://reyessyndrome.org/what.html . Accessed February 28, 2013.
Last reviewed November 2012 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 11/26/2012