Common, and mostly harmless, condition characterised by repeated sudden contractions of the inspiratory muscles terminated by an abrupt closure of the glottis to produce a distinctive 'hic' sound.
Most hiccups are benign and self-limiting, rarely requiring medical attention. However, various organic and psychogenic causes can lead to persistent, intractable hiccups that can last for years.
Persistent intractable hiccups can lead to malnutrition, weight loss, dehydration, fatigue, depression, insomnia, and reduced quality of life.
Various therapies have been described, from non-prescription remedies to mechanical stimulation of the involved anatomical structures. Unfortunately, most of the evidence for treatments of hiccups come from uncontrolled observational trials or case-control series or reports. Valid randomised trials are therefore needed to thoroughly investigate the effectiveness of therapies for this indication.
A hiccup is an abrupt contraction of the inspiratory muscles that repeats several times per minute. The resultant sudden rush of air into the lungs causes the glottis to close, creating a distinctive 'hic' sound.
Professor of Anaesthesia
Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care
University of Würzburg Hospital
PK is an author of a reference cited in this monograph.
Assistant Physician and Study Subinvestigator
Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care
University Hospital of Wuerzburg
YJ declares that she has no competing interests.
Professor Peter Kranke and Dr Yvonne Jelting would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Thomas M. Metterlein, a previous contributor to this monograph. TMM declares that he has no competing interests.
Consultant Anaesthetist and Associate Director of Research and Development
Lancaster Patient Safety Research Unit
Royal Lancaster Infirmary
AS declares that he has no competing interests.
Department of Surgical Gastroenterology
University of Copenhagen
SKB declares that he has no competing interests.
Academic Director of Pain Management
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology
Department of Anesthesiology
Albany Medical College
HS is an author of a reference cited in this monograph.
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