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Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

Abstract

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NORD is very grateful to Richard G. Boles, MD, Division of Medical Genetics and the Saban Research Institute, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, and Division of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, for assistance in the preparation of this report.

Synonyms of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

  • abdominal migraine
  • childhood cyclic vomiting
  • CVS
  • cyclical vomiting
  • periodic syndrome

Disorder Subdivisions

  • No subdivisions found.

General Discussion

Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) is a rare disorder characterized by recurrent, similar episodes of severe nausea and vomiting. An episode may last for a few hours to several days and then is followed by a period of time during which affected individuals are free of severe nausea and vomiting. This alternating pattern of disease and disease-free periods distinguishes cyclic vomiting syndrome from other similar disorders. Also, in cyclic vomiting syndrome, within each sufferer the episodes are similar. The associated nausea and vomiting can be severe enough to be incapacitating (e.g., individuals may be unable to walk or talk and/or be bedridden). Additional symptoms that are often present during an episode including dizziness, paleness of the skin (pallor), lack of energy (lethargy), abdominal pain and headaches. Oftentimes, nausea is the most disturbing symptom, and vomiting is infrequent. In some cases as children grow older, they may outgrow these episodes, although many of these children eventually develop migraines. Cyclic vomiting syndrome may affect children more often than adults. The exact cause of cyclic vomiting syndrome is unknown.

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Resources

Organizations:

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