The first fatal case caused by the new genome type 7i is described in an 8-month-old boy requiring long-term respiratory support who developed Reye's syndrome, acute respiratory distress, and bronchiolitis obliterans with fatal evolution. Adenovirus was detected in nasopharyngeal secretions and was persistently positive during hospitalization. IgM and IgG adenovirus antibody titers measured in serum by enzyme-linked immunoassay (EIA) were 1:32 and 1:800, respectively. Serum interleukins (IL) and interferons (IFN) measured by EIA were as follows: IL-2, 110 pg/ml; IL-6, 300 pg/ml; IL-8, 7,000 pg/ml; TNF-alpha, 35 pg/ml, IL-1 and IL-4 undetectable, IFN-alpha 2,200 pg/ml, and IFN-gamma 700 pg/ml. Virologic studies showed that adenovirus isolated belonged to subgenus B, and digestion of viral DNA with Bam HI, Sma I, Bgl II, and Hind III identified the isolate as belonging to genome type 7i. Autopsy showed bronchiolitis obliterans with diffuse alveolar damage and perivenular fatty degeneration with polymorphonuclear infiltrates in the periportal spaces. The difficulty in obtaining adequate oxygenation with minimization of iatrogenic oxygen injury is discussed.