A rare disorder occurring in childhood. It is characterized by the symptoms of encephalitis combined with evidence of liver failure. Often, the symptoms develop in the apparent recovery phase of a viral infection. Treatment is aimed at controlling cerebral oedema and correcting metabolic abnormalities in order to allow spontaneous recovery, but there is still a significant mortality and there may be residual brain damage. The cause is not known, but aspirin has been implicated and this drug should not be used in children below the age of 16 unless specifically indicated. R. D. K. Reye (1912–77), Australian histopathologist
Subjects: Medicine and Health.