Reye's Syndrome - Symptoms

Whatever the cause, Reye's syndrome is accompanied by two kinds of effects on the body. First, there is a buildup of fats in body organs, especially the liver. These fats interfere with the normal operation of the organ. They may cause it to shut down.

Second, fluids begin to accumulate in the brain. These fluids push on blood vessels in the brain. The pressure may become so great that blood can no longer flow into the brain. If the brain can no longer function death will result.

The symptoms of Reye's syndrome appear after a viral infection—after the original viral infection has gotten better. The patient may think that the original disease is over. But new symptoms then appear quite suddenly. The first of these symptoms is violent vomiting. This may be followed by a state of quietness, lethargy, agitation, seizures, and coma. In infants, diarrhea may be more common than vomiting. Fever is usually absent at this point.

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