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Reye syndrome is sudden (acute) brain damage (encephalopathy) and liver function problems of unknown cause.
The syndrome has occurred with the use of aspirin to treat chickenpox or the flu in children. However, it has become very uncommon since aspirin is no longer recommended for routine use in children.
Reye syndrome is most often seen in children ages 4 - 12. Most cases that occur with chickenpox are in children ages 5 - 9. Cases that occur with the flu (influenzae type B) are usually in children ages 10 - 14.
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Johnston MV. Encephalopathies. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 598.
Ferri FF. Reye’s syndrome. In: Ferri FF, ed. Ferri’s Clinical Advisor 2011. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:section 1.
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Michaels MG. Reye syndrome. In: Long SS, Pickering LK, Prober CG, eds. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Churchill Livingstone; 2003:chap 50.
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