Managing the Complications of Cirrhosis: A Practical Approach

Atif Zaman, MD, MPH

Chapter 6: Management Of Hepatic Encephalopathy (continued)

Jayant A. Talwalkar, MD, MPH

Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) may be defined as a disturbance in central nervous system function because of hepatic insufficiency. This broad definition reflects the existence of a spectrum of neuropsychiatric manifestations related to a range of pathophysiologic mechanisms. Present in both acute and chronic liver failure, these neuropsychiatric manifestations are potentially reversible.1,2 Approximately 5.5 million persons in the United States have cirrhosis of the liver, a major cause of complications and death. Overt episodes of HE are debilitating, can occur without warning, render the…