Critical Care and Anesthetic Management of Reye's Syndrome

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The encephalopathy of Reye's syndrome is frequently complicated by increased intracranial pressure (ICP) which may lead to death or severe neurologic sequelae. An understanding of the pathophysiology of increased ICP is necessary to prevent further increases in pressure and to reduce pressure while maintaining adequate cerebral perfusion. Four of seven children with Reye's syndrome and increased ICP survived after reduction of increased ICP by controlled hyper ventilation and osmotherapy while being monitored with the Richmond intracranial bolt. Careful anesthetic and critical-care management, appropriate, reliable monitoring, and pentobarbital therapy may constitute the most successful therapy to date for patients with Reye's syndrome and increased ICP.

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