Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Program
The Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) Program at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin is the largest program of its kind in the country focused on treating children with CVS.
The interdisciplinary team of specialists at Children's Hospital provide family-centered care to patients and their families.
The CVS Program is lead by B Li, MD, program director and pediatric gastroenterologist at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Dr. Li is one of the world-renowned experts in treating and researching cyclic vomiting and has seen more than 1,000 cyclic vomiting cases in his career, more than any provider in the world.
Watch the following videos to hear Dr. Li talk about CVS and our unique program at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
|What is CVS? >||About the CVS Program|
Before a child is seen in the program, the interdisciplinary team of psychologists, neurologists, researchers and nurses spend hours reviewing medical records, standardized questionnaire and diary of vomiting episodes including a narrative summary from parents. When that information has been reviewed, the team meets with the child and parents to discuss how to best assist the child.
To schedule an appoiment with the Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Program at Children's Hospital, call (414) 266-3690.
What is CVS?
CVS is one of the more unrecognized and misdiagnosed childhood diseases. It is marked by severe, recurrent attacks of vomiting in a child who is otherwise completely healthy for weeks or even months at a time before and after the attacks. Over the course of 24 to 48 hours, a child may have more than 30 vomiting episodes, occurring every five to 10 minutes at its peak.
Gastroenteritis is a common misdiagnosis of CVS, as are food poisoning, gastroesophagealreflux and even bulimia.
"With stomach flu, once the stomach is empty, the vomiting stops," Li said. "With CVS, the physical act of dry heaving will continue long after the stomach is empty. The drive to vomit is relentless."
Such episodes often begin in the early morning around 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. The child is non-responsive and pale, often curled in a fetal position.
The peak age for the first onset of CVS is 5 years. Sixty percent of those afflicted are female. Most children will outgrow CVS around puberty, but they often then begin developing migraine headaches. While the specific cause of CVS remains unknown, Li's studies indicate that 83 percent of CVS sufferers have at least one family member who has migraine headaches.
On average, a child has been misdiagnosed for 2 1⁄2 years before coming to Li. "If an episode takes place every one-to-two months, that is about 15 attacks or more where the child is suffering and the parents are unsure of the reason," Li said.
Pediatricians should consider CVS in children who suffer nearly identical recurrent attacks of vomiting. For example, repetitive, such as three instances over a six-month period, episodes that require emergency room visits due to dehydration.
Additional facts about CVS
- Based on two population surveys, it affects 1 in 50 of school-aged children.
- CVS causes the school-aged child to miss an average of 24 days of school per year.
Chandra Wilson, "Dr. Bailey" on ABC's Grey's Anatomy, recently visited Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and the CVS Program team. Watch the following videos to hear her talk about being a parent of a child diagnosed with CVS.
|Advice for parents of children with CVS||Becoming an advocate for children with CVS|