EGA Institute for Women's Health


Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy that affects up to 1% of pregnant women. It recurs in future pregnancies and often runs in families suggesting a genetic vulnerability. Some women require hospitalisation for rehydration, restoration of electrolyte imbalances and attempts to stop vomiting. Some women with intractable hyperemesis resistant to treatment, find themselves forced to end an otherwise wanted pregnancy.

Dr Eri Fujitake, UCL academic clinical fellow, is leading a study to understand the mechanisms involved in energy balance during pregnancy. By measuring peptide hormones involved in appetite regulation, markers of nutritional state, and thyroid hormones women admitted to hospital with HG will be compared to asymptomatic pregnant controls

Understanding the role of energy homeostasis in the aetiology of HG may lead to identification of new targets for therapeutic intervention and improvement in clinical practice.