Hepatic Encephalopathy

  • Jasmohan S. Bajaj
  • Kevin D. Mullen


Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) reflects a spectrum of neuropsychiatric abnormalities seen in patients with liver dysfunction after exclusion of other known brain disease [1]. HE is primarily divided into two components: overt HE (OHE) and minimal HE (MHE). OHE is the specific type of HE that can be diagnosed clinically through a constellation of signs and symptoms while MHE cannot be diagnosed clinically. It has been estimated that OHE is present in 30–45% of patients with cirrhosis with an annual risk of development in 20% of patient with cirrhosis [2]. There is a uniformly poor survival after development of OHE. MHE is manifested by impairment in specialized testing and is considered by most to be a pre-clinical stage of OHE [1]. MHE has been diagnosed in up to 60–80% of patients with cirrhosis and is associated with increased progression to OHE, poor quality of life, and a high risk of traffic violations and accidents [3].


Hepatic Encephalopathy Critical Flicker Frequency Digit Symbol Test Overt Hepatic Encephalopathy Probiotic Yogurt 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionVirginia Commonwealth University and McGuire VA Medical CenterRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Division of GastroenterologyMetroHealth Medical CenterClevelandUSA
  3. 3.Case Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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