COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Primary prophylaxis of overt hepatic encephalopathy in patients with cirrhosis: an open labeled randomized controlled trial of lactulose versus no lactulose

Praveen Sharma, Barjesh Chander Sharma, Amit Agrawal, Shiv Kumar Sarin
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2012, 27 (8): 1329-35
22606978

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Development of overt hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is associated with poor prognosis in patients with cirrhosis. Lactulose is used for the treatment of HE. There is no study on the prevention of overt HE using lactulose in patients who never had HE earlier.

METHODS: Consecutive cirrhotic patients who never had an episode of overt HE were randomized to receive lactulose (Gp-L) or no lactulose (Gp-NL). All patients were assessed by psychometry (number connection test [NCT-A and B], figure connection test if illiterate [FCT-A and B], digit symbol test [DST], serial dot test [SDT], line tracing test [LTT]) and critical flicker frequency test (CFF) at inclusion and after 3 months. These patients were followed every month for 12 months for development of overt HE.

RESULTS: Of 250 patients screened, 120 (48%) meeting the inclusion criteria were randomized to Gp-L (n = 60) and Gp-NL (n = 60). Twenty (19%) of 105 patients followed for 12 months developed an episode of overt HE. Six (11%) of 55 in the lactulose (Gp-L) group and 14 (28%) of 50 in the Gp-NL (P = 0.02) developed overt HE. Ten (20%) of 50 patients in Gp-NL and five (9%) of 55 patients in the Gp-L group died, P = 0.16. Number of patients with minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) were comparable in two groups at baseline (Gp-L vs Gp-NL, 32:36, P = 0.29). Lactulose improved MHE in 66% of patients in Gp-L. Taking a cutoff < 38 Hz sensitivity and specificity of CFF in predicting HE were 52% and 77% at baseline and 52% and 82% at 3 months of treatment. On multivariate analysis, Child's score and presence of MHE at baseline were significantly associated with development of overt HE.

CONCLUSIONS: Lactulose is effective for primary prevention of overt hepatic encephalopathy in patients with cirrhosis.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
22606978
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"