Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome: What a Gastroenterologist Needs to Know

Pareek, Namita; Fleisher, David R.; Abell, Thomas
December 2007
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Dec2007, Vol. 102 Issue 12, p2832
Academic Journal
BACKGROUND: CVS (cyclic vomiting syndrome) is a functional disorder that may occur in any age group of patients. In the past the disorder was considered to be fairly uncommon of unknown etiology. Treatment has generally been based on anecdotal reports. METHODS: Literature review was performed based on internet/Medline search as of April 2006. RESULTS: CVS is much more common than previously thought, especially in adults and is commonly associated with migraine headaches and sharing many of its characteristic features. Genetic association with mitochondrial DNA has been recognized with CVS. Prompt diagnosis is essential in order to prevent the significant morbidity associated with CVS. It is mandatory to rule out certain life-threatening disorders that can mimic CVS. Treatment options are based on the particular phase of the syndrome in which a patient is in and carried out in a systematic manner. CONCLUSION: Expert consensus is that CVS is a distinct disorder and is a part of the migraine spectrum (migraine headaches, CVS, and abdominal migraines). Once patients are properly diagnosed, treatment is highly effective. Because of renewed interest in CVS since the 1990's, many more patients in all age groups are being recognized who suffer from this disabling disorder. An increase in basic science and clinical research in CVS will hopefully lead to better patient outcomes.


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