Post-Op Nausea May Be Hereditary

FRIDAY July 1, 2011 -- Nausea and vomiting after waking from general anesthesia may be hereditary, a new study says.

DNA samples from 122 patients with severe postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) were analyzed by Penn State College of Medicine researchers. 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 all the patients, according to the study in the July issue of the journal Anesthesiology.

"We hope identification of the SNP will help better predict which patients are more susceptible to PONV and enable anesthesiologists to take appropriate precautions before those patients receive anesthesia," lead author Dr. Piotr K. Janicki said in a news release from the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

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.

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.

More information

The Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society has more about common side effects after anesthesia.

Posted: July 2011


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