|Symptoms||Nausea and vomiting such that weight loss and dehydration occur|
|Duration||Often gets better but may last entire pregnancy|
|Risk factors||First pregnancy, multiple pregnancy, obesity, prior or family history of hyperemesis gravidarum, trophoblastic disorder, history of an eating disorder|
|Diagnostic method||Based on symptoms|
|Similar conditions||Urinary tract infection, high thyroid levels|
|Treatment||Drinking fluids, bland diet, intravenous fluids|
|Frequency||~1% of pregnant women|
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a pregnancy complication that is characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and possibly dehydration. Signs and symptoms may also include vomiting several times a day and feeling faint. Hypremesis gravidarum is considered more severe than morning sickness. Often symptoms get better after the 20th week of pregnancy but may last the entire pregnancy duration.
The exact causes of hyperemesis gravidarum are unknown. Risk factors include the first pregnancy, multiple pregnancy, obesity, prior or family history of HG, trophoblastic disorder, and a history of eating disorders. Diagnosis is usually made based on the observed signs and symptoms. HG has been technically defined as more than three episodes of vomiting per day such that weight loss of 5% or three kilograms has occurred and ketones are present in the urine. Other potential causes of the symptoms should be excluded including urinary tract infection and high thyroid levels.
Treatment includes drinking fluids and a bland diet. Recommendations may include electrolyte-replacement drinks, thiamine, and a higher protein diet, some women require intravenous fluids. With respect to medications pyridoxine or metoclopramide are preferred. Prochlorperazine, dimenhydrinate, or ondansetron may be used if these are not effective. Hospitalization may be required. Psychotherapy may improve outcomes. Evidence for acupressure is poor.
While vomiting in pregnancy has been described as early as 2,000 BC, the first clear medical description of hyperemesis gravidarum was in 1852 by Antoine Dubois. Hyperemesis gravidarum is estimated to affect 0.3–2.0% of pregnant women. While previously known as a common cause of death in pregnancy, with proper treatment this is now very rare, those affected have a low risk of miscarriage but a higher risk of premature birth. Some pregnant women choose to end their pregnancy due to HG's symptoms.
- 1 Signs and symptoms
- 2 Causes
- 3 Pathophysiology
- 4 Diagnosis
- 5 Management
- 6 Complications
- 7 Epidemiology
- 8 History
- 9 Notable cases
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Signs and symptoms
When vomiting is severe it may result in the following:
- Loss of 5% or more of pre-pregnancy body weight
- Dehydration, causing ketosis, and constipation
- Nutritional disorders such as vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency, vitamin B6 deficiency or vitamin B12 deficiency
- Metabolic imbalances such as metabolic ketoacidosis or thyrotoxicosis
- Physical and emotional stress of pregnancy on the body
- Difficulty with activities of daily living
Symptoms can be aggravated by hunger, fatigue, prenatal vitamins (especially those containing iron), and diet. Many people with HG are extremely sensitive to odors in their environment; certain smells may exacerbate symptoms. This is known as hyperolfaction. Ptyalism, or hypersalivation, is another symptom experienced by some women suffering from HG.
Hyperemesis gravidarum tends to occur in the first trimester of pregnancy and lasts significantly longer than morning sickness. While most women will experience near-complete relief of morning sickness symptoms near the beginning of their second trimester, some sufferers of HG will experience severe symptoms until they give birth to their baby, and sometimes even after giving birth.
A small percentage rarely vomit, but the nausea still causes most (if not all) of the same issues that hyperemesis with vomiting does.
There are numerous theories regarding the cause of HG, but the cause remains controversial, it is thought that HG is due to a combination of factors which may vary between women and include genetics. Women with family members who had Hyperemesis are more likely to develop the disease.
One factor is an adverse reaction to the hormonal changes of pregnancy, in particular, elevated levels of beta human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), this theory would also explain why hyperemesis gravidarum is most frequently encountered in the first trimester (often around 8–12 weeks of gestation), as hCG levels are highest at that time and decline afterward. Another postulated cause of HG is an increase in maternal levels of estrogens (decreasing intestinal motility and gastric emptying leading to nausea/vomiting).
Possible pathophysiological processes involved are summarized in the following table:
|Gastrointestinal tract||Helicobacter pylori||Increased steroid levels in circulation|
Hyperemesis gravidarum is considered a diagnosis of exclusion. HG can be associated with serious problems in the mother or baby, such as Wernicke's encephalopathy, coagulopathy, peripheral neuropathy.
Women experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum often are dehydrated and lose weight despite efforts to eat, the onset of the nausea and vomiting in hyperemesis gravidarum is typically before the twenty-second week of pregnancy.
Diagnoses to be ruled out include the following:
|Gestational trophoblastic diseases (rule out with urine β-hCG)|
Common investigations include blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and electrolytes, liver function tests, urinalysis, and thyroid function tests. Hematological investigations include hematocrit levels, which are usually raised in HG. An ultrasound scan may be needed to know gestational status and to exclude molar or partial molar pregnancy.
Dry bland food and oral rehydration are first-line treatments. Due to the potential for severe dehydration and other complications, HG is treated as an emergency. If conservative dietary measures fail, more extensive treatment such as the use of antiemetic medications and intravenous rehydration may be required. If oral nutrition is insufficient, intravenous nutritional support may be needed, for women who require hospital admission, thromboembolic stockings or low-molecular-weight heparin may be used as measures to prevent the formation of a blood clot.
Intravenous (IV) hydration often includes supplementation of electrolytes as persistent vomiting frequently leads to a deficiency. Likewise, supplementation for lost thiamine (Vitamin B1) must be considered to reduce the risk of Wernicke's encephalopathy. A and B vitamins are depleted within two weeks, so extended malnutrition indicates a need for evaluation and supplementation; in addition, electrolyte levels should be monitored and supplemented; of particular concern are sodium and potassium.
After IV rehydration is completed, patients in general progress to frequent small liquid or bland meals, after rehydration, treatment focuses on managing symptoms to allow normal intake of food. However, cycles of hydration and dehydration can occur, making continuing care necessary. Home care is available in the form of a PICC line for hydration and nutrition (called total parenteral nutrition). Home treatment is often less expensive than long-term or repeated hospitalizations.
A number of antiemetics are effective and safe in pregnancy including: pyridoxine/doxylamine, antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine), and phenothiazines (such as promethazine). With respect to effectiveness, it is unknown if one is superior to another for improving nausea or vomiting. Limited evidence from published clinical trials suggests the use of medications to treat hyperemesis gravidarum.
While pyridoxine/doxylamine, a combination of vitamin B6 and doxylamine, is effective in nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, some have questioned its effectiveness in HG. Ondansetron may be beneficial, however, there are some concerns regarding an association with cleft palate, and there is little high-quality data. Metoclopramide is also used and relatively well tolerated. Evidence for the use of corticosteroids is weak; there is some evidence that corticosteroid use in pregnant women may slightly increase the risk of oral facial clefts in the infant and may suppress fetal adrenal activity. However, hydrocortisone and prednisolone are inactivated in the placenta and may be used in the treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum after 12 weeks.
Women not responding to IV rehydration and medication may require nutritional support. Patients might receive parenteral nutrition (intravenous feeding via a PICC line) or enteral nutrition (via a nasogastric tube or a nasojejunal tube). There is only limited evidence from trials to support the use of vitamin B6 to improve outcome. Hyperalimentation may be necessary in certain cases to help maintain volume requirements and allow weight gain. A physician might also prescribe Vitamin B1 (to prevent Wernicke's encephalopathy) and folic acid supplementation.
Acupuncture (both with P6 and traditional method) has been found to be ineffective. The use of ginger products may be helpful, but evidence of effectiveness is limited and inconsistent, though three recent studies support ginger over placebo.
If HG is inadequately treated, anemia, hyponatremia, Wernicke's encephalopathy, kidney failure, central pontine myelinolysis, coagulopathy, atrophy, Mallory-Weiss tears, hypoglycemia, jaundice, malnutrition, pneumomediastinum, rhabdomyolysis, deconditioning, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, splenic avulsion, or vasospasms of cerebral arteries are possible consequences. Depression and PTSD  are common secondary complications of HG and emotional support can be beneficial.
The effects of HG on the fetus are mainly due to electrolyte imbalances caused by HG in the mother. Infants of women with severe hyperemesis who gain less than 7 kg (15.4 lb) during pregnancy tend to be of lower birth weight, small for gestational age, and born before 37 weeks gestation. In contrast, infants of women with hyperemesis who have a pregnancy weight gain of more than 7 kg appear similar to infants from uncomplicated pregnancies. There is no significant difference in the neonatal death rate in infants born to mothers with HG compared to infants born to mothers who do not have HG. Children born to mothers with undertreated Hyperemesis have a fourfold increase in neurobehavioral diagnoses.
Vomiting is a common condition affecting about 50% of pregnant women, with another 25% having nausea. However, the incidence of HG is only 0.3–1.5%. After preterm labor, hyperemesis gravidarum is the second most common reason for hospital admission during the first half of pregnancy. Factors such as infection with Helicobacter pylori, a rise in thyroid hormone production, low age, low body mass index prior to pregnancy, multiple pregnancies, molar pregnancies, and a past history of hyperemesis gravidarum have been associated with the development of HG.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is from the Greek hyper-, meaning excessive, and emesis, meaning vomiting, and the Latin gravidarum, the feminine genitive plural form of an adjective, here used as a noun, meaning "pregnant [woman]". Therefore, hyperemesis gravidarum means "excessive vomiting of pregnant women".
Author Charlotte Brontë is often thought to have suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, she died in 1855 while four months pregnant, having been afflicted by intractable nausea and vomiting throughout her pregnancy, and was unable to tolerate food or even water.
- "Management of hyperemesis gravidarum.". Drug Ther Bull. 51 (11): 129–9. November 2013. PMID 24227770. doi:10.1136/dtb.2013.11.0215.
- "Pregnancy". Office on Women's Health. September 27, 2010. Archived from the original on 10 December 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
- Jueckstock, JK; Kaestner, R; Mylonas, I (15 July 2010). "Managing hyperemesis gravidarum: a multimodal challenge.". BMC medicine. 8: 46. PMC . PMID 20633258. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-8-46.
- Ferri, Fred F. (2012). Ferri's clinical advisor 2013 5 books in 1 (1st ed.). Elsevier Mosby. p. 538. ISBN 9780323083737. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08.
- Sheehan, P (September 2007). "Hyperemesis gravidarum—assessment and management" (PDF). Australian Family Physician. 36 (9): 698–701. PMID 17885701. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-06-06.
- Goodwin, TM (September 2008). "Hyperemesis gravidarum". Obstetrics and gynecology clinics of North America. 35 (3): 401–17, viii. PMID 18760227. doi:10.1016/j.ogc.2008.04.002.
- Gabbe, Steven G. (2012). Obstetrics : normal and problem pregnancies (6th ed.). Elsevier/Saunders. p. 117. ISBN 9781437719352. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08.
- Davis, Christopher J. (1986). Nausea and Vomiting : Mechanisms and Treatment. Springer. p. 152. ISBN 9783642704796. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08.
- Kumar, Geeta (2011). Early Pregnancy Issues for the MRCOG and Beyond. Cambridge University Press. p. Chapter 6. ISBN 9781107717992. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08.
- DeLegge, Mark H. (2007). Handbook of home nutrition support. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett. p. 320. ISBN 9780763747695. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08.
- Summers A (2012). "Emergency management of hyperemesis gravidarum". Emergency Nurse. 20 (4): 24–8. PMID 22876404. doi:10.7748/en2012.07.20.4.24.c9206.
- Ahmed KT, Almashhrawi AA, Rahman RN, Hammoud GM, Ibdah JA; Almashhrawi; Rahman; Hammoud; Ibdah (November 2013). "Liver diseases in pregnancy: diseases unique to pregnancy". World J Gastroenterol. 19 (43): 7639–46. PMC . PMID 24282353. doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i43.7639.
- Matthews DC, Syed AA (2011). "The role of TSH receptor antibodies in the management of Graves' disease". European Journal of Internal Medicine. 22 (3): 213–6. PMID 21570635. doi:10.1016/j.ejim.2011.02.006.
- Carlson, Karen J., MD; Eisenstat, Stephanie J., MD; Ziporyn, Terra (2004). The New Harvard Guide to Women's Health. Harvard University Press. pp. 392–3. ISBN 0-674-01343-3.
- "Do I Have Morning Sickness or HG?". H.E.R. Foundation. Archived from the original on 30 November 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
- Zhang Y, Cantor RM, MacGibbon K, Romero R, Goodwin TM, Mullin PM, Fejzo MS (2011). "Familial aggregation of hyperemesis gravidarum". American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 204 (3): 230.e1–7. PMC . PMID 20974461. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2010.09.018.
- Cole, LA (August 2010). "Biological functions of hCG and hCG-related molecules". Reproductive biology and endocrinology. 8 (102): 102. PMC . PMID 20735820. doi:10.1186/1477-7827-8-102.
- Hershman JM (June 2004). "Physiological and pathological aspects of the effect of human chorionic gonadotropin on the thyroid". Best Pract. Res. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 18 (2): 249–65. PMID 15157839. doi:10.1016/j.beem.2004.03.010.
- Aka N, Atalay S, Sayharman S, Kiliç D, Köse G, Küçüközkan T; Atalay; Sayharman; Kiliç; Köse; Küçüközkan (2006). "Leptin and leptin receptor levels in pregnant women with hyperemesis gravidarum". The Australian & New Zealand journal of obstetrics & gynaecology. 46 (4): 274–7. PMID 16866785. doi:10.1111/j.1479-828X.2006.00590.x.
- Bourne,, Thomas H.; Condous, George, eds. (2006). Handbook of early pregnancy care. Informa Healthcare. pp. 149–154. ISBN 9781842143230.
- Verberg, MF; Gillott, DJ; Al-Fardan, N; Grudzinskas, JG (September–October 2005). "Hyperemesis gravidarum, a literature review". Human Reproduction Update. 11 (5): 527–539. PMID 16006438. doi:10.1093/humupd/dmi021. Archived from the original on 2016-12-15.
- Bagis, T; Gumurdulu, Y; Kayaselcuk, F; Yilmaz, ES; Killicadag, E; Tarim, E (November 2002). "Endoscopy in hyperemesis gravidarum and Helicobacter pylori infection". International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 79 (2): 105–9. PMID 12427393. doi:10.1016/s0020-7292(02)00230-8.
- "Hyperemesis Gravidarum (Severe Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy)". Cleveland Clinic. 2012. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- Medline Plus (2012). "Hyperemesis gravidarum". National Institutes of Health. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
- Evans, Arthur T., ed. (2007). Manual of obstetrics (7th ed.). Wolters Kluwer / Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 265–8. ISBN 9780781796965. Archived from the original on 2017-09-11.
- Office on Women's Health (2010). "Pregnancy Complications". U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
- British National Formulary (March 2003). "4.6 Drugs used in nausea and vertigo – Vomiting of pregnancy". BNF (45 ed.).
- Tuot, D; Gibson, S; Caughey, AB; Frassetto, LA (March 2010). "Intradialytic hyperalimentation as adjuvant support in pregnant hemodialysis patients: case report and review of the literature". International urology and nephrology. 42 (1): 233–7. PMC . PMID 19911296. doi:10.1007/s11255-009-9671-5.
- Jarvis, S; Nelson-Piercy, C (June 2011). "Management of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.". BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 342: d3606. PMID 21685438. doi:10.1136/bmj.d3606.
- Matthews, Anne; Haas, David M.; O'Mathúna, Dónal P.; Dowswell, Therese (2015-09-08). "Interventions for nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (9): CD007575. ISSN 1469-493X. PMID 26348534. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007575.pub4.
- Tan, PC; Omar, SZ (April 2011). "Contemporary approaches to hyperemesis during pregnancy". Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 23 (2): 87–93. PMID 21297474. doi:10.1097/GCO.0b013e328342d208.
- Tamay, AG; Kuşçu, NK (November 2011). "Hyperemesis gravidarum: current aspect". Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology : the journal of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 31 (8): 708–12. PMID 22085059. doi:10.3109/01443615.2011.611918.
- Koren, G (October 2012). "Motherisk update. Is ondansetron safe for use during pregnancy?". Canadian Family Physician. 58 (10): 1092–3. PMC . PMID 23064917.
- Tan, PC; Omar, SZ (April 2011). "Contemporary approaches to hyperemesis during pregnancy". Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 23 (2): 87–93. PMID 21297474. doi:10.1097/GCO.0b013e328342d208.
- Poon, SL (October 2011). "Towards evidence-based emergency medicine: Best BETs from the Manchester Royal Infirmary. BET 2: Steroid therapy in the treatment of intractable hyperemesis gravidarum". Emergency medicine journal : EMJ. 28 (10): 898–900. PMID 21918097. doi:10.1136/emermed-2011-200636.
- Christodoulou-Smith J, Gold JI, Romero R, Goodwin TM, Macgibbon KW, Mullin PM, Fejzo MS (2011). "Posttraumatic stress symptoms following pregnancy complicated by hyperemesis gravidarum". The Journal of Maternal-fetal & Neonatal Medicine. 24 (11): 1307–11. PMC . PMID 21635201. doi:10.3109/14767058.2011.582904.
- Dodds L, Fell DB, Joseph KS, Allen VM, Butler B.; Fell; Joseph; Allen; Butler (2006). "Outcomes of pregnancies complicated by hyperemesis gravidarum". Obstet Gynecol. 107 (2 Pt 1): 285–92. PMID 16449113. doi:10.1097/01.AOG.0000195060.22832.cd.
- Fejzo MS, Magtira A, Schoenberg FP, Macgibbon K, Mullin PM (June 2015). "Neurodevelopmental delay in children exposed in utero to hyperemesis gravidarum" (PDF). Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 189: 79–84. PMID 25898368. doi:10.1016/j.ejogrb.2015.03.028. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-03-04.
- Niebyl, Jennifer R. (2010). "Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy". New England Journal of Medicine. 363 (16): 1544–50. PMID 20942670. doi:10.1056/NEJMcp1003896.
- Cohen, Wayne R., ed. (2000). Cherry and Merkatz's complications of pregnancy. (5th ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 124. ISBN 9780683016734.
- McSweeny, Linda (2010-06-03). "What is acute morning sickness?". The Age. Archived from the original on 2012-12-06. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
- "Prince William, Kate expecting 2nd child". 8 September 2014. Archived from the original on 8 September 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- Kensington Palace (2017-09-04). "Read the press release in full ↓pic.twitter.com/vDTgGD2aGF". @KensingtonRoyal. Archived from the original on 2017-09-04. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
- "Frankie Bridge gives birth to baby boy". 15 August 2015. Archived from the original on 17 August 2015.