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Post-op nausea may be hereditary

Nausea and vomiting after waking from general anaesthesia may be hereditary.

Post-op nausea may be hereditary

Nausea and vomiting after waking from general anaesthesia may be hereditary.

Post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is the most common complication of anesthesia and one of the biggest contributors to patient dissatisfaction after surgery. Patients often prefer pain to the feeling of being nauseous after surgery. In addition, PONV is also very expensive to treat and a significant contributor to the cost of care. Previous research has identified a number of contributing factors to PONV: being female; use of volatile anesthetics; previous history of PONV or motion sickness; and use of intra- or postoperative opioid drugs such as morphine or codeine. The purpose of the research was determining if patients inherit post-operative nausea and vomiting. While previous findings established family history as a risk factor, this study was one of the first that analyzed the possible connection between genetic factors and PONV.

In the study DNA samples from 122 patients with severe postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) were analysed by researchers from America. Patients answered questions about a family history of the condition, motion sickness, migraine headaches, or any additional adverse side effects associated with anesthesia.

They initially identified 41 genetic targets (single nucleotide polymorphisms - SNPs) that might be related to PONV. Further analysis led them to at least one SNP that was common to the patients with severe PONV.

This is the first study to analyze the genetics of patients with PONV and could lead to the development of a genetic test before surgery to determine a patient's risk. The researchers hope that identification of the SNP will lead to the development of preoperative tests for patients with PONV risks and possible drug therapy. This would help better predict which patients are more susceptible to PONV and enable anaesthesiologists to take appropriate precautions before those patients receive anesthesia.
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