Hyperemesis gravidarum: literature review

Binu Philip
WMJ: Official Publication of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin 2003, 102 (3): 46-51
Nausea and vomiting commonly occur in pregnant women. Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe form of nausea and vomiting rarely occurring in pregnancy. Between 0.3% and 2% of all pregnant women suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum. The objective of this paper is to review current literature focusing on the definition, incidence, etiology, prognosis, and treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum. A MEDLINE search of the English literature from 1982 through 2001 utilized the keywords hyperemesis gravidarum, nausea, and pregnancy. Current data pertaining to the epidemiology, etiology, clinical presentation, various treatment modalities, and prognosis are presented. Review of the literature supports that hyperemesis gravidarum is a multifactorial disease. The cause is unknown. Various treatments are recommended although few studies have evaluated effectiveness. A case report of molar pregnancy presenting with hyperemesis gravidarum introduces this literature review.

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