Current concepts in the assessment and treatment of hepatic encephalopathy

W J Cash, P McConville, E McDermott, P A McCormick, M E Callender, N I McDougall
QJM: Monthly Journal of the Association of Physicians 2010, 103 (1): 9-16
Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is defined as a metabolically induced, potentially reversible, functional disturbance of the brain that may occur in acute or chronic liver disease. Standardized nomenclature has been proposed but a standardized approach to the treatment, particularly of persistent, episodic and recurrent encephalopathy associated with liver cirrhosis has not been proposed. This review focuses on the pathogenesis and treatment of HE in patients with cirrhosis. The pathogenesis and treatment of hepatic encephalopathy in fulminant hepatic failure is quite different and is reviewed elsewhere.

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