Syndrome, Reye ‘ S: Learn All About This Problem Child

The syndrome of reye ‘ s is a rare disease that can have very serious consequences in children. Find out how is the diagnosis made and what is its treatment.

The Syndrome of reye ‘ s is a very rare disease that is still little explored and whose causes are not yet clear. We know that it is exclusive of the children, be they infants or teenagers, and that is closely related to acetylsalicylic acid, the famous Aspirin.

This syndrome is an acute condition that causes inflammation in the brain – encephalopathy – and loss of liver function due to a build up of fat in the liver. Usually, develops after a flu or chickenpox, when the child comes in contact, respectively, with the virus Influenza or Varicella zooster. But it is important to realize that you don’t develop this syndrome whenever it comes in contact with them, since the flu is a disease that is very common, and this syndrome is rare.

The risk increases considerably when it is used Aspirin in the treatment that the once-acetylsalicylic acid, its main component, tends to intensify the activity of these viruses.

It is also due to this risk, that this is not recommended for children, except when by a doctor. Today, the use of Aspirin, has been decreasing, which causes the numbers are not very troubling, about one in every 100 000 children are affected by the Syndrome of reye ‘ s. However, we should be informed because it is a disease that can have serious consequences, even fatal.

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First of all, it is important to note that the symptoms that this syndrome causes are related to the severity of the same. Thus, initially, the signs that the child has are similar to an infection of the upper respiratory tract, such as for example a flu, or even with a chicken pox. About 6 days later, they began to arise nausea and vomiting too intense and frequent.

The peculiarity of the disease is the ability to suddenly affect the mental condition of the child, making them feel confused, disoriented, agitated, and may enter into delirium. These are changes that can be followed by convulsions more or less severe and which can evolve, in a certain way, to a loss of consciousness, coma or even death.


The diagnosis is made by the doctor when faced with children who developed symptoms of encephalopathy, vomiting, dizziness and even mental changes sudden. However, to proceed in order to detect any other disorders, you must request the conduct of a blood test as well as an analysis of liver tissue. This last, to reveal changes fatty microvesiculares, reports the final diagnosis.

Sometimes, the symptoms of reye ‘ s Syndrome are similar to those of encephalitis, meningitis or liver failure, and why is this so important to do several tests to confirm the diagnosis.

The examinations the most common, in addition to the blood count, biopsy of the liver tissue, are the computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging of the head, to confirm the encephalopathy, and even a lumbar puncture for analysis of cerebrospinal fluid.

After the diagnosis of the Syndrome of reye ‘ s, this can be divided into five stages. Being phase 1, stadium the lower and the phase 5, stadium the most high.

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As already mentioned before, the Syndrome of reye ‘ s is a very rare disease, with a question mark in its causes and therefore it becomes difficult to find an ideal treatment. However, there are several ways of acting to reduce and treat all the changes that occur in the body.

First of all, all patients are treated in intensive care units, where they are taken supportive measures, with particular attention to the intracranial pressure and in the levels glicémicos. Should also be controlled the functions of the heart and lungs in the child, as well as the immediate suspension of the administration of Aspirin or medications that contain derivatives of acetylsalicylic acid. Thus, the treatment is performed with medical follow-up is summarized in the following way:

  • Administration of vitamin K or plasma, fresh frozen, each time that the child has problems with clotting so as to prevent coagulopatias;
  • Administration of dextrose 10% or 15% to maintain stable glucose levels in the blood and thereby reverse the hypoglycemia;
  • Endotracheal intubation (placing a tube in the windpipe) and hyperventilation (which delivers a respiratory rate higher than normal) to reduce swelling and pressure inside the brain;
  • Elevation of the head of the patient when lying down, to relieve the intracranial pressure;
  • Restriction of liquids as well as the administration of diuretic drugs osmotic, such as mannitol, which cause the body to eliminate water;
  • Deployment of a device of measurement of the intracranial pressure to monitor and control the pressure.

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It is not always easy to recover from a crisis of Syndrome reye ‘ s, and depends very much on the stage and severity of the inflammation of the brain. Therefore, it is important that the diagnosis be made early so that the patients, in this case children, to be able to recover in full and do not have to live bound to the consequences of a disease these can bring.