It is widely recognized that Reye's syndrome, particularly sporatic cases, often follows varicella. It is not so widely appreciated that the interval between the onset of the varicella rash and the encephalopathy of Reye's syndrome is almost always three to five days.
Cases of Reye's syndrome that followed varicella seen by one of us (A.M.G.) in either Denver or Washington, DC, were reviewed. Additional cases were obtained from the literature.1-11 All cases reported as Reye's syndrome following varicella with a clearly stated interval between the onset of the rash and hospitalization were included.
The interval between the onset of the varicella rash and hospitalization in our cases and the literature cases was invariably four or five days (Figure). An additional article reported 10 INTERVAL:RASH-ADMISSION DAYS seven cases with an interval between rash and encephalopathy of three or four days.12
The interval between the onset of varicella and Reye's