Liver & intrahepatic bile ducts
Infectious nonviral
Reye syndrome

Topic Completed: 1 May 2012

Revised: 23 January 2019, last major update May 2012

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

PubMed Search: Reye syndrome[TI] liver

Komal Arora, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 790
Page views in 2020 to date: 524
Cite this page: Arora K. Reye syndrome. website. Accessed August 12th, 2020.
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
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