Reye’s syndrome: a case control study of medication use and associated viruses in Australia

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The records of 49 cases of Reye’s syndrome at three pediatric hospitals in Australia are compared with 94 controls. The diagnosis of Reye’s syndrome was confirmed pathologically in 42 of 49 cases (86%). Aspirin or salicylate ingestion occurred in only 4 (8%), and paracetamol (acetaminophen) ingestion in 12 (24%) (P>0.05 by chi-square analysis). Of the controls, 3 (3%) had taken aspirin and 39 (41%) had taken paracetamol. Associated viruses included paramyxoviruses, picornaviruses, reoviruses, adenoviruses, and occasional varicella-zoster (herpesvirus). No influenza A or B viruses were recovered from any patient. This case control study of Reye’s syndrome in Australia confirmed a lack of association between aspirin ingestion and the development of Reye’s syndrome.



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