Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 36, Issue 9, pp 1204–1208

Short-term oral zinc supplementation does not improve chronic hepatic encephalopathy

Results of a double-blind crossover trial
  • Oliviero Riggio
  • Franco Ariosto
  • Manuela Merli
  • Massimo Caschera
  • Angelo Zullo
  • Genoveffa Balducci
  • Vincenzo Ziparo
  • Giovanni Pedretti
  • Franco Fiaccadori
  • Emilio Bottari
  • Livio Capocaccia
Original Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF01307509

Cite this article as:
Riggio, O., Ariosto, F., Merli, M. et al. Digest Dis Sci (1991) 36: 1204. doi:10.1007/BF01307509

Abstract

The effect of short-term oral zinc supplementation (zinc sulfate 600 mg/day) on hepatic encephalopathy, was assessed in a double-blind, crossover trial. Fifteen cirrhotic patients with stable, chronic hepatic encephalopathy were randomized to receive either oral zinc or a placebo for 10 days. Following a two-week washout period, these were crossed over to the alternate treatment. Conn's index, which comprises the evaluation of the mental state, asterixis, number connection test, EEG record, and plasma ammonia, was used to score the degree of hepatic encephalopathy, both at the beginning and end of each treatment period. Serum zinc was significantly raised after oral zinc administration and reached the levels observed in cirrhotics without hepatic encephalopathy. Despite this, however, no modification in the parameters included in Conn's index were observed. In conclusion, this study failed to confirm that short-term oral zinc supplementation improves chronic hepatic encephalopathy.

Key Words

zinchepatic encephalopathycontrolled trial

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliviero Riggio
    • 1
  • Franco Ariosto
    • 1
  • Manuela Merli
    • 1
  • Massimo Caschera
    • 1
  • Angelo Zullo
    • 1
  • Genoveffa Balducci
    • 1
  • Vincenzo Ziparo
    • 1
  • Giovanni Pedretti
    • 1
  • Franco Fiaccadori
    • 1
  • Emilio Bottari
    • 1
  • Livio Capocaccia
    • 1
  1. 1.the II Cattedra di Gastroenterologia, I Clinica Chirurgica, Dipartimento di Chimica, Università di Roma “La Sapienza;” Cattedra di Malattie InfettiveUniversità di ParmaRomeItaly