Reye's syndrome1 is no longer considered to be a rare disease, even though it was not described in medical school to those who graduated more than 10 years ago. This is probably the result of several factors, including the education of the pediatrician and pathologist to recognize the cardinal manifestations of the syndrome and their better appreciation of the spectrum of this disease process.

The essential features of this disease process which affects children are easily recognized. These include, in many instances, an antecedent, viral-type illness followed by protracted vomiting; the development of an encephalopathy without a concomitant encephalitis or meningitis; some evidence of hepatic dysfunction, usually in the absence of jaundice; and biopsy or autopsy evidence of fatty accumulation in the viscera, primarily the liver.

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