Clinical Practice: Nausea and vomiting in acute gastroenteritis: physiopathology and management

Beatrice C. Canziani, Peter Uestuener, Emilio F. Fossali, Sebastiano A.G. Lava, Mario G. Bianchetti, Carlo Agostoni, Gregorio P. Milani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Currently recommended management of acute gastroenteritis is supportive. Although the affected children habitually have vomiting, recommendations do not focus on the correction of this symptom. In this condition, elevated ketone bodies and stimuli initiated by gut mucosa damage produced by the enteral pathogen likely underlay nausea and vomiting. As compared to 0.9% saline, intravenous administration of a dextrose-containing bolus of 0.9% saline is associated with a greater reduction of circulating ketones and a shorter duration of nausea and vomiting. Nonetheless, this treatment strategy is not followed by a lower rate of hospitalization. Conclusion: Well-designed investigations suggest that antagonists of the type 3 serotonin receptor, most frequently oral ondansetron, reduce the rate of vomiting, improve the tolerance of oral rehydration, and reduce the need for intravenous rehydration.(Table presented.)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Acute gastroenteritis
  • Antagonists of the type 3 serotonin receptor
  • Ketosis
  • Ondansetron
  • Vomiting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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