Reye‘s syndrome

Reye‘s syndrome

Reye’s syndrome most commonly affects children under the age of 15. It usually starts about a week after a viral infection, such as a cold, flu, or measles. Doctors are still not sure what exactly is causing Reye’s syndrome. However, research shows that Reye’s syndrome can be activated if aspirin is given to children for the treatment of viral diseases.

Children who develop Reye’s syndrome tend to get better after a common viral infection. But not long after, things changed for the worse. They start vomiting, often feeling unwell or drowsy. In just a few hours, the children become nervous, confused and irritable. In some cases, the symptoms may be absent at first. But as the disease gets worse, the symptoms get more severe, and in the most severe cases, deep coma can occur.

Reye’s syndrome can become a very serious health condition. If parents suspect the possibility of this disease, they are advised to seek immediate medical attention.

Although Reye’s Syndrome can affect any organ in the body, it is most harmful to the brain and liver. If treated promptly there is a good chance of recovery. Therefore, it is best to seek professional medical attention, as doctors in hospitals can respond quickly to any health problems that may arise. They can help reduce swelling in the brain, reducing the risk of permanent brain damage.

Etiology

The etiology and pathogenesis of the disease have not been fully elucidated. It is assumed that this is a congenital deficiency or a reduced amount of enzymes involved in ureagenesis. The disorder is characterized by encephalopathy, impaired liver function and hyperammonemia (increased ammonia in the blood). In 25-50% of cases it is a fatal outcome.

Symptoms

The symptoms of Reye’s syndrome appear a few days after the onset of the flu or chickenpox. The patient has frequent and abundant vomiting that persists for more than 12 hours. Fever may also be a symptom of the syndrome, but this sign may likewise be a symptom of early-stage viral disease.

In the case of Reye’s syndrome, vomiting and fever are accompanied by disorders related to brain dysfunction (gaze, amazement, strange behavior, delirium, apathy, irritability, sleepiness). If the patient does not receive assistance quickly, the loss of consciousness can degenerate into convulsions and coma.

aspirin may cause Reye's syndrome

Diagnosis

For the diagnosis of Reye’s syndrome, it is considered whether there is any unexplained brain dysfunction (encephalopathy), vomiting and liver dysfunction in a child. A recent viral infection and aspirin use certainly support the diagnosis. In general, laboratory studies that reveal an increase in liver enzymes and ammonia levels and a marked decrease in blood sugar (hypoglycemia) increase the certainty of the diagnosis. However, it should be noted that other metabolic disorders can exhibit similar symptoms.

Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no absolutely effective treatment for Reye’s syndrome. First, the treatment is aimed at reducing the effects of metabolic dysfunction. Patients with Reye’s syndrome are hospitalized in an intensive care unit and monitored to prevent a worsening of the neurological and metabolic conditions. The primary goal is to manage electrolyte imbalances and brain edema. It is difficult to predict which patients may be affected by the progressive disease, however, it is advisable to use some drugs that tend to reduce ammonia levels (a substance that is known to be one of the causes of brain swelling). In addition, in some cases of progressive and difficult to placate Reye’s syndrome, hemodialysis is used to remove toxins, which are believed to be partly responsible for swelling of the brain.

Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis

Liver

Liver (hepatic) cirrhosis is a chronic liver disease, caused by various diseases and conditions of the liver, such as hepatitis and chronic alcoholism. The liver is an organ that performs several important functions in the body, including detoxification of harmful substances in the body, helps in cleansing the blood as well as in the production of vital substances.

Cirrhosis

Liver cirrhosis can be described as a condition in which normal liver tissue is gradually replaced by fibrous connective tissue (scar tissue). The liver cirrhosis is mostly slow progressing disease and is often not characterized by symptoms in the earlier stages. As liver function begins to worsen, serious problems appear. Treatment of liver cirrhosis varies from patient to patient. In the final stage of the condition, liver transplantation may be the only solution.

Causes

The liver can be damaged by various different conditions which can lead to cirrhosis, some of the important ones are:

Chronic alcohol abuse

The most common cause of liver cirrhosis is chronic alcohol abuse. If you drink several glasses of any alcoholic beverage daily for years, it will not only bring you into a state of drunkenness and addiction but will also trigger the development of cirrhosis.

Hepatitis

Long-term chronic viral hepatitis can also damage the liver, especially types B and C. It usually occurs after 20 years of developing hepatitis and can go much faster if the patient has an alcohol addiction.

Autoimmune disease

The hepatic cirrhosis can be triggered by autoimmune diseases which can attack the liver instead of protecting it, causing inflammation that later develops into cirrhosis.

alcohol addiction

Risk groups

Alcoholics

Excessive amounts of alcohol destroy the whole body, especially the liver. An alcoholic’s liver can no longer cleanse the body of toxins.

Older people

This category includes persons aged 45 to 65 years. During this period of life, liver degeneration is most often triggered, additionally fastened by habits and lifestyles.

Obese people

People who are overweight often have liver problems. Physically inactive people who eat unhealthy tend to have increased BMI.

Hypervitaminosis A

Hypervitaminosis resulting from excessive intake of Vitamin A can lead to poisoning and impaired liver function. Ignoring the symptoms leads to cirrhosis.

Signs and symptoms

Cirrhosis rarely shows any symptoms until the damage is severe, some of the important signs and symptoms include:

Fatigue and loss of energy

Loss of appetite and nausea

Spider angioma (spider naevus) – swollen blood vessels beneath the skin surface with central red spot and extensions which look like spider‘s web.

Jaundice – yellowish pigmentation of the skin and whites of the eyes caused by the inability of the liver to eliminate the excess of bilirubin.

Palmar erythema – redness in the palms of the hands

Ascites – fluid accumulation in the abdomen

Edema – swelling in legs, ankles or feet

Hepatic encephalopathy – Problems with memory, attention, and hard time answering questions are the first signs of brain damage caused by toxins due to impaired liver function. Advanced stages lead to coma

cirrhosis

Treatment

Liver cirrhosis therapy depends primarily on the cause and severeness of liver damage. Therapy may include the following:

Beta blockers and nitrates – these medication sare used to treat a common complication of cirrhosis called portal hypertension. This condition is characterized by hypertension in the hepatic portal system (a system of veins that come from the intestines to liver)

Intravenous antibiotics – medicines for the treatment of peritonitis, inflammation of the peritoneum due to ascites

Hemodialysis – a blood purification process

Stopping bleeding from esophageal veins

Treating alcoholism and avoiding any alcohol consumption

Treating hepatitis

Weight loss

As a last resort, liver transplantation is used. This procedure is performed if previous forms of therapy do not show results.