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Hepatic encephalopathy is a syndrome observed in patients with cirrhosis. Hepatic encephalopathy is defined as a spectrum of neuropsychiatric abnormalities in patients with liver dysfunction, after exclusion of brain disease. Hepatic encephalopathy is a decline in brain function that occurs as a result of severe liver disease. In this condition, your liver can't adequately remove toxins from your blood. This causes a buildup of toxins in your bloodstream, which can lead to brain damage.‎Types · ‎Symptoms · ‎Causes · ‎Stages. Hepatic Encephalopathy Online Medical Reference - from definition and diagnosis through risk factors and treatments.


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Hepatic encephalopathy may be triggered by bleeding in the digestive tract, an infection, failure to take drugs as prescribed, or another stress.

Hepatic Encephalopathy

People become confused, disoriented, and drowsy, with changes in personality, behavior, and mood. Doctors base the diagnosis on symptoms, results of the examination, and response to treatment. Eliminating the trigger, eating less meat, and taking lactulose a laxative and rifaximin an antibiotic may help symptoms resolve.

See also Overview of Liver Disease. Medicines are given hepatic coma help lower ammonia level and improve brain function.

  • Hepatic encephalopathy - Wikipedia
  • Hepatic Encephalopathy

Medicines given may include: Neomycin and rifaximin also reduce the amount of ammonia made in the intestines. If the HE improves while taking rifaximin, it should be continued indefinitely. Hepatic coma previously known as hepatic coma HE. Lack of detectable changes in personality or behavior.

Loss of brain function - liver disease

Minimal changes in memory, concentration, intellectual function, and coordination. Trivial lack of awareness.


Impaired addition or subtraction. Hypersomnia, insomnia, or inversion of sleep pattern.

Loss of brain function - liver disease: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Euphoria, depression, or irritability. Slowing of ability to perform mental tasks. Asterixis can be detected. Drowsiness, lethargy, gross deficits in hepatic coma to perform mental tasks, obvious personality changes, inappropriate behavior, and intermittent disorientation, usually regarding time.

Somnolent but can be aroused, unable to perform mental tasks, gross disorientation about time and place, marked confusion, amnesia, occasional fits of rage, present but incomprehensible speech.

Hepatic encephalopathy

Coma with or without response to painful stimuli. Your doctor may hepatic coma antibiotics and lactulose Enulosea synthetic sugar.

These medications can draw ammonia, created by intestinal bacteria from your blood, into your colon. Your body will then remove hepatic coma blood from your colon.

Hepatic Encephalopathy - Liver and Gallbladder Disorders - Merck Manuals Consumer Version

In severe cases that cause difficulty breathinga ventilator or oxygen mask may be necessary. Investigations[ edit ] The diagnosis of hepatic encephalopathy can only be made in the presence of confirmed liver disease types A and C or a portosystemic shunt type Bas its symptoms are similar to those encountered in other encephalopathies.

A CT scan of the brain may be required to exclude haemorrhage, and if seizure activity is suspected an electroencephalograph EEG study may be performed. This requires blood tests urea and electrolytes, full blood count, liver function testsusually a chest X-rayand urinalysis.

If hepatic coma is ascites, diagnostic paracentesis removal of a fluid sample with a needle may be required to identify hepatic coma bacterial peritonitis SBP.

In case of advanced HE that is due to acute hepatic failure, the focus should be on prevention and management of cerebral edema, which is the leading cause of mortality, as follows: