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Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms in pregnancy and may occur in up to 85 per cent of women.
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) refers to a severe and intractable nausea and vomiting that usually occurs between 8 and 12 weeks of pregnancy in up to 2 per cent of patients.1 In 10 per cent of these patients, symptoms may persist up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.
It is most common in young patients who are not Caucasian.2 HG may result in dehydration with electrolyte imbalance and alkalosis as well as nutritional deficiencies. This may in turn lead to weight loss.
Hyperemesis is one of the leading causes of hospitalisation in early pregnancy. Mortality is rare; maternal morbidities comprise Wernicke's encephalopathy, central pontine myelinolysis, Mallory-Weiss tears and acute tubular necrosis.
The mechanical forces occurring in HG may result in pneumomediastinum and oesophageal rupture.
Women who have HG are more likely to have a baby that is small for gestational age and has a low birth weight. Furthermore, there is an increased risk for pre-term …