Liver and intrahepatic bile ducts - nontumor
Infectious (nonviral) disorders
Reye syndrome

Author: Komal Arora, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 3 November 2017, last major update May 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Reye syndrome[TI] liver

Cite this page: Arora, K. Reye syndrome. website. Accessed July 18th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • First described in 1963 by Reye and colleagues
  • Encephalopathy and fatty degeneration of liver in children due to mitochondrial dysfunction after febrile viral-like illness treated with aspirin
  • Disease has almost disappeared in children as aspirin use has declined for viral-like illnesses
  • Current cases are more common in adults; in children are associated with inborn errors of urea cycle or fatty acid metabolism
  • Changes similar to Jamaican vomiting sickness and valproic acid toxicity
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Diffuse, panlobular, microvesicular fatty change, no necrosis, no inflammation
Positive stains
  • Fat stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Enlarged, pleomorphic mitochondria with expanded matrix and fewer mitochondrial dense bodies
Additional references