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- Vomiting is the forceful expulsion of gastric contents through the mouth.
- Vomiting is a prominent feature of many disorders of infancy and childhood.
- It is often the only presenting symptom of many diseases.
- Regurgitation is defined as small, effortless mouthfuls of food or stomach contents.
- Retching is contraction of the abdominal musculature against a closed glottis, restricting expulsion of stomach contents (also referred to as “dry heaves”).
- Vomiting can be:
- A defense mechanism to expel ingested toxins
- An abnormality of, or damage to, the postrema area of the brain (a.k.a. the chemoreceptor trigger zone or vomiting center), which is located at the base of the fourth ventricle
- A result of intestinal obstruction or anatomic abnormalities
- Due to chronic gastrointestinal mucosal disease
- The result of a generalized metabolic disease
- A result of increased intracranial pressure