Glucose and steroids have been used in the treatment of children with Reye's syndrome, while carnitine and coenzyme Q10 have been the subject of some recent studies which suggest that these agents may have a role in the treatment of Reye's syndrome and Reye-like syndrome due to margosa oil poisoning. Because of the paucity of causes of Reye's syndrome seen at any one centre, the clinical variability of the disease, and limited knowledge of definite aetiologic factors, controlled clinical trials are not easy to carry out or to interpret in human cases. These caveats were overcome by evaluation of these four treatment modalities in an established margosa-oil-induced animal model of Reye's syndrome. Effectiveness of the treatment modalities was determined from clinical response and histopathologic parameters (grading of light microscopic fatty changes and ultrastructural changes in the hepatocytes). Results show that carnitine per se produces a small improvement in survival, but statistically, more significant benefit is seen with glucose administration. Carnitine plus 10% dextrose appears to produce better results. Evaluation of coenzyme Q10 and carnitine on histopathologic parameters in the liver after a sublethal dose of margosa oil showed no obvious ameliorating effect on liver pathology. Steroids (dexamethasone/methylprednisolone) had no beneficial effects in reducing mortality, affecting glycogen storage or lipid accumulation. Changes in the mitochondria, ribosomes and endoplasmic reticulum were unaltered from the groups treated with margosa oil alone. While glucose and carnitine supplements appear to be beneficial, the other modes of therapy do not seem to hold much promise in the treatment of Reye-like syndrome in the margosa-oil-induced animal model.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.