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Reye's syndrome(rīz), rare but life-threatening disease characterized by acute encephalopathy and fatty infiltration of internal organs, especially the liver. It occurs almost entirely in children under age 15. The cause is unknown, but the disease usually follows an acute viral infection (particularly influenza or chickenpox), especially when aspirinaspirin,
acetyl derivative of salicylic acid (see salicylate) that is used to lower fever, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and thin the blood. Common conditions treated with aspirin include headache, muscle and joint pain, and the inflammation caused by rheumatic fever and
..... Click the link for more information. or other salicylates have been given. The symptoms, which occur about a week after the virus infection, are vomiting and disorientation; these may be followed by seizures, coma, and respiratory arrest. Treatment is directed toward reducing brain swelling, correcting blood chemistry changes due to liver damage, and providing respiratory support if needed. Doctors recommend that children be given acetaminophenacetaminophen
, an analgesic and fever-reducing medicine. It is an active ingredient in many over-the-counter medicines, including Tylenol and Midol. Introduced in the early 1900s, acetaminophen is a coal tar derivative that acts by interfering with the synthesis of
..... Click the link for more information. rather than aspirin for viral infections or feverfever,
elevation of body temperature above the normal level, which in humans is about 98°F; (37°C;) when measured orally. Fever is considered to be a symptom of a disorder rather than a disease in itself.
..... Click the link for more information. .
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Reye's syndrome[′rīz ‚sin‚drōm]
An uncommon liver disorder primarily occurring in infants and young children; characterized by convulsions, hypoglycemia, and a liver showing diffuse microvacuolar fatty metamorphosis.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.