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Reye’s syndrome and aspirin


Reye’s syndrome is a rare but potentially lethal childhood illness characterised by acute encephalopathy and fatty change in various organs, particularly the liver. It was first reported in 1963 from Australia after being identified in 21 children over 11 years.1 Recently a link with the use of aspirin for viral pyrexial illness has been claimed. Does the evidence justify a change in doctors’ and parents’ habits?

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