Prevalence of subclinical hepatic encephalopathy in cirrhotic patients in China.

Department of Gastroenterology, First Municipal People's Hospital of Guangzhou, Guangzhou 510180, Guangdong Province, China.
World Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 2.55). 08/2004; 10(16):2397-401.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Subclinical hepatic encephalopathy (SHE) is a common complication of liver diseases. The aim of this study was to find out the normal value of psychometric test and to investigate the prevalence of SHE in Chinese patients with stabilized hepatic cirrhosis.
Four hundred and nine consecutive cirrhotic patients without overt clinical encephalopathy were screened for SHE by using number connection test part A (NCT-A) and symbol digit test (SDT). SHE was defined as presence of at least one abnormal psychometric test. The age-corrected normal values were defined as the mean+/-2 times standard deviation (2SD), and developed in 356 healthy persons as normal controls. Four hundred and sixteen patients with chronic viral hepatitis were tested as negative controls to assess the diagnostic validity of this test battery.
There was no significant difference in NCT scores and SDT quotients between healthy controls and chronic hepatitis group (P>0.05). In all age subgroups, the NCT and SDT measurements of cirrhotic patients differed significantly from those of the controls (P<0.05). When mean+/-2SD of SDT and NCT measurements from healthy control group was set as the normal range, 119 cirrhotic patients (29.1%) were found to have abnormal NCT-A and SDT tests, 53 (13.0%) were abnormal only in SDT and 36 (8.8%) only in NCT-A. Taken together, SHE was diagnosed in 208 (50.9%) cirrhotic patients by this test battery. The prevalence of SHE increased from 39.9% and 55.2% in Child-Pugh's grade A and B groups to 71.8% in Child-Pugh's grade C group (P<0.05). After the adjustment of age and residential areas required from the tests, no correlation was found in the rate of SHE and causes of cirrhosis, education level and smoking habit.
Psychometric tests are simple and reliable indicators for screening SHE among Chinese cirrhotic patients. By using a NCT and SDT battery, SHE could be found in 50.9% of cirrhotic patients without overt clinical encephalopathy. The prevalence of SHE is significantly correlated with the severity of liver functions.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To investigate the prevalence of minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) and to assess corresponding health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in hospitalized cirrhotic patients in China. This multi-center cross-sectional study included 16 teaching hospitals, which were members of "Hepatobiliary Cooperation Group, Society of Gastroenterology, Chinese Medical Association", from different areas of China carried out between June and October in 2011. All the eligible hospitalized cirrhotic patients (n = 538) were required to complete triplicate number connection tests combined with one digit symbol test for diagnosing MHE. Patients' clinical examination data were complemented by a modified questionnaire assessing HRQoL. Written informed consent was obtained from each patient. Male was predominant (68.6%) in 519 patients who met the criteria of the study, with a mean age of 49.17 ± 11.02 years. The most common cause of liver cirrhosis was chronic hepatitis B (55.9%). The prevalence of MHE was 39.9% and varied by Child-Pugh-Classification score (CPC-A: 24.8%, CPC-B: 39.4% and CPC-C: 56.1%, P < 0.01). MHE (P < 0.01) and higher CPC scores (P < 0.01) were associated with a high HRQoL scores (reflecting poorer quality of life). The prevalence of MHE was proportionate to CPC (P = 0.01) and high quality of life scores (P = 0.01). Hospitalized cirrhotic patients have a high prevalence of MHE that is proportionate to the degree of liver function and HRQoL impairment.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 08/2013; 19(30):4984-91. · 2.55 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hepatic encephalopathy is a neuropsychiatric complication of liver cirrhosis the symptoms of which may vary from imperceptible to severe, invaliding, and even lethal. Minimal hepatic encephalopathy is also important because of its tendency to impair patients' cognitive functions and quality of life. The polyetiological pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy is intensively studied. A general consensus exists that not only excess of ammonia but also inflammatory, oxidative, and other processes are significant in the development of hepatic encephalopathy.
    Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania) 01/2014; 50(2):75-81. · 0.55 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In patients with liver cirrhosis, drugs acting on the central nervous system can lead to hepatic encephalopathy and the effects may be prolonged. Recently, misuse of propofol has been reported and the associated risk of death have become an issue. Propofol is commonly used during sedative endoscopy; therefore, its safety in high-risk groups must be further investigated. We performed a pilot study of the safety and efficacy of propofol during endoscopy in Korean patients with cirrhosis. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy was performed under sedation with propofol along with careful monitoring in 20 patients with liver cirrhosis and 20 control subjects. The presence or development of hepatic encephalopathy was assessed using the number connection test and neurologic examination. Neither respiratory depression nor clinically significant hypotension were observed. Immediate postanesthetic recovery at 5 and 10 minutes after the procedure was delayed in the cirrhotic patients compared with the control group; however, at 30 minutes, the postanesthetic recovery was similar in both groups. Baseline psychomotor performance was more impaired in cirrhotic patients, but propofol was not associated with deteriorated psychomotor function even in cirrhotic patients with a minimal hepatic encephalopathy. Sedation with propofol was well tolerated in cirrhotic patients. No newly developed hepatic encephalopathy was observed.
    The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine 01/2014; 29(1):57-65.


1 Download
Available from