Animal studies have indicated a "vomiting center" situated in the dorsal portion of the lateral reticular formation of the medulla at the level of the dorsal nucleus of the vagus. There is also a chemoreceptor trigger zone in the floor of the fourth ventricle in the area postrema which influences the vomiting center. A 63 year old man with a three year history of metastatic malignant melanoma presented with nausea, projectile vomiting, gait ataxia and diplopia associated with horizontal and vertical nystagmus. CT scan showed a solitary brainstem metastasis without hydrocephalus and he was treated with radiotherapy with resolution of his vomiting after four weeks. At post mortem three months later a metastasis was found in the right middle cerebellar peduncle and lateral tegmentum of the pons; there was no pathological change in the area of the vomiting center or area postrema. It is postulated that this lesion caused projectile vomiting because of involvement of either afferent projections to the vomiting center. The neuroanatomy of vomiting is discussed.
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