Liver & intrahepatic bile ducts

Developmental anomalies / cysts

Reye syndrome

Last author update: 1 May 2012
Last staff update: 24 September 2020

Copyright: 2002-2024,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Reye syndrome[TI] liver

Komal Arora, M.D.
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Cite this page: Arora K. Reye syndrome. website. Accessed April 14th, 2024.
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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