Cyclical vomiting syndrome in children: a prospective study

Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2012 Oct;24(10):922-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.2012.01960.x. Epub 2012 Jul 4.


Background: Cyclical vomiting syndrome (CVS) is a disorder that affects all ages and is characterized by episodes of severe nausea and vomiting with symptom-free intervals between episodes. The incidence in children is 3.15/100 000 children per year. Our objective was to evaluate the natural history of CVS and examine factors that predict symptom resolution.

Methods: Thirty newly diagnosed children (mean 9.15 years, SD 3.31 range 3.5-15.7) were enrolled. All children had a follow-up interview at 3 months, 27/30 at 6 months, and 22/30 at 9 months.

Key results: Following diagnosis of CVS, only 5/22(22.7%) children had no further episodes of vomiting at 9 months, whereas 17/22 (77.3%) continued to vomit. In the year prior to diagnosis, 15/30 (50%) children were admitted to hospital. Of the 22 children with follow-up for 9 months, only one child required hospital admission. Children who continued to vomit had higher internalizing scores on CBCL compared with those who stopped vomiting (P = NS). The Pediatric Quality-of-Life Score suggested those who continued to vomit had a poorer quality of life at diagnosis compared with those who stopped vomiting (P < 0.05).

Conclusions & inferences: Making a positive diagnosis of CVS and providing families with information is very important in the management of CVS. Although 75% of children reported regular episodes of vomiting 9 months after diagnosis, there was a significant reduction in the frequency and severity of symptoms in addition to a marked reduction in the use of medical services.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Periodicity
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Syndrome
  • Vomiting / diagnosis*
  • Vomiting / epidemiology*