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Prevalence of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome in a Sample of Turkish School Children in an Urban Area

Ertekin, Vildan MD*; Selimoğlu, Mukadder Ayşe MD; Altnkaynak, Sevin MD‡ı

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: November-December 2006 - Volume 40 - Issue 10 - p 896-898
doi: 10.1097/01.mcg.0000212627.83746.0b
Alimentary Tract: Clinical Research

Objectives Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) is characterized by recurrent, explosive bouts of vomiting punctuating periods of normal health. Its prevalence is unclear in the world, and is unknown in Turkey. This study was designed to investigate its prevalence in Turkish school children.

Methods The study was performed on 1263 children, aged 6 to 17 years old, who were selected by systematic sampling method before, for the celiac disease prevalence study. The population was asked the questions relating to CVS. Children whose answers fulfilled CVS criteria were invited for clinical interview and physical examination at the hospital.

Results Of 1263 children, 24 (1.9%) fulfilled the criteria of CVS. Of them, 33.3% were male, 66.6% were female; the age ranged from 7 to 14 years old (mean age 10.5). The mean onset age was 7±3.4 years (5 to 12 years). The duration of attack ranged from 3 to 10 days (median: 5 days). Prodromal symptoms were reported in 25% of children with CVS. The episodes were accompanied by pallor, anorexia, feeling unwell, headache, abdominal pain, and photophobia in 100%, 100%, 83.3%, 66.7%, 58.3%, and 16.6%, respectively. Precipitating factors were reported by 20.8% of the children. Six children (25%) had migraine. A positive family history for migraine was noted in 7 (29.2%). Seven children (29.2%) suffered from travel sickness.

Conclusions In this first CVS prevalence study in Turkey, we found that CVS is highly prevalent in school children. For this reason, we emphasize that clinicians should be aware of this syndrome and consider it in the differential diagnosis of recurrent vomiting.

*Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Atatürk University

Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Erzurum

Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Inonu University, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Malatya, Turkey

Reprints: Mukadder Ayşe Selimoğlu, MD, Inonu Universitesi, Tip Fakultesi, Cocuk Sagligi ve Hastaliklari AD, 44280, Malatya, Turkey (e-mail:

Received for publication February 6, 2006; accepted April 6, 2006

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.