Inhibitory Control Test for the Diagnosis of Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy

Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Virginia Commonwealth University and McGuire VA Medical Center, Richmond, Virginia, USA.
Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 16.72). 08/2008; 135(5):1591-1600.e1. DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2008.07.021
Source: PubMed


Minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) is difficult to diagnose. The Inhibitory Control Test (ICT) measures response inhibition and has diagnosed MHE with 90% sensitivity and specificity in a selected population; high lure and low target rates indicated poor ICT performance. We studied the reliability and validity of ICT for MHE diagnosis.
ICT was compared with a psychometric battery (standard psychometric tests [SPT]) for MHE diagnosis and overt hepatic encephalopathy (OHE) prediction. ICT was administered twice for test-retest reliability, before/after transvenous intrahepatic portosystemic shunting (TIPS), and before/after yogurt treatment. The time taken by 2 medical assistants (MA) to administer ICT was recorded and compared with that of a psychologist for cost analysis.
One hundred thirty-six cirrhotic patients and 116 age/education-matched controls were studied. ICT (>5 lures) had 88% sensitivity for MHE diagnosis with 0.902 area under the curve for receiver operating characteristic. MHE-positive patients had significantly higher ICT lures (11 vs 4, respectively, P = .0001) and lower targets (92% vs 97%, respectively, P = .0001) compared with MHE-negative patients. The test/retest reliability for ICT lures (n = 50, r = 0.90, P = .0001) was high. ICT and SPT were equivalent in predicting OHE (21%). ICT lures significantly worsened after TIPS (n = 10; 5 vs 9, respectively; P = .02) and improved after yogurt supplementation (n = 18, 10 vs 5, respectively; P = .002). The MAs were successfully trained to administer ICT; the time required for test administration and the associated costs were smaller for ICT than for SPT.
ICT is a sensitive, reliable, and valid test for MHE diagnosis that can be administered inexpensively by MAs.

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Available from: Jasmohan Bajaj, Jul 28, 2014
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    • "Taken together, these results indicate that ICT performance can discriminate between patients with and without MHE (cf. Amodio et al. 2010; Bajaj et al. 2008). In this regard, a new and interesting result comes from the evaluation of the performance of patients without MHE. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence reveals that inter- and intra-individual variability significantly affects cognitive performance in a number of neuropsychological pathologies. We applied a flexible family of statistical models to elucidate the contribution of inter- and intra-individual variables on cognitive functioning in healthy volunteers and patients at risk for hepatic encephalopathy (HE). Sixty-five volunteers (32 patients with cirrhosis and 33 healthy volunteers) were assessed by means of the Inhibitory Control Task (ICT). A Generalized Additive Model for Location, Scale and Shape (GAMLSS) was fitted for jointly modeling the mean and the intra-variability of Reaction Times (RTs) as a function of socio-demographic and task related covariates. Furthermore, a Generalized Linear Mixed Model (GLMM) was fitted for modeling accuracy. When controlling for the covariates, patients without minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) did not differ from patients with MHE in the low-demanding condition, both in terms of RTs and accuracy. Moreover, they showed a significant decline in accuracy compared to the control group. Compared to patients with MHE, patients without MHE showed faster RTs and higher accuracy only in the high-demanding condition. The results revealed that the application of GAMLSS and GLMM models are able to capture subtle cognitive alterations, previously not detected, in patients' subclinical pathologies.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Metabolic Brain Disease
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    • "Normal values were expressed as mean ±2 standard deviations. If test score was more than 2 standard deviations beyond mean value, it was considered as abnormality [8], [16], [24], [25]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Attention deficit is an early and key characteristic of minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) and has been used as indicator for MHE detection. The aim of this study is to classify the cirrhotic patients with or without MHE (NMHE) and healthy controls (HC) using the resting-state attention-related brain network analysis. Resting-state fMRI was administrated to 20 MHE patients, 21 NMHE patients, and 17 HCs. Three attention-related networks, including dorsal attention network (DAN), ventral attention network (VAN), and default mode network (DMN), were obtained by independent component analysis. One-way analysis of covariance was performed to determine the regions of interest (ROIs) showing significant functional connectivity (FC) change. With FC strength of ROIs as indicators, Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) was conducted to differentiate MHE from HC or NMHE. Across three groups, significant FC differences were found within DAN (left superior/inferior parietal lobule and right inferior parietal lobule), VAN (right superior parietal lobule), and DMN (bilateral posterior cingulate gyrus and precuneus, and left inferior parietal lobule). With FC strength of ROIs from three networks as indicators, LDA yielded 94.6% classification accuracy between MHE and HC (100% sensitivity and 88.2% specificity) and 85.4% classification accuracy between MHE and NMHE (90.0% sensitivity and 81.0% specificity). Our results suggest that the resting-state attention-related brain network analysis can be useful in classification of subjects with MHE, NMHE, and HC and may provide a new insight into MHE detection.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · PLoS ONE
    • "Confining the motor response to simply pressing or not pressing a button seems to be a far better option than pencil-and-paper tests. In recent trials, CFF and ICT have shown to accurately predict MHE and to have a good correlation with psychometric tests as in this study also.[1213] "
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    ABSTRACT: Background/Aim: Minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) impairs health-related quality of life and driving ability of the patient. Objective: We assessed the utility of the inhibitory control test (ICT), critical flicker frequency (CFF), and psychometry in the diagnosis of MHE. Patients and Methods: Consecutive patients with cirrhosis underwent number connection tests A and B (NCT-A, B), digit symbol test (DST), line tracing test (LTT), serial dot test (SDT), CFF, and ICT at baseline and after four hours. Fifty healthy subjects served as controls for the ICT test. Results: Fifty patients with cirrhosis (43.4 ± 10.2 yrs, M: F 42:8) underwent psychometric tests [NCT-A (48.3 ± 17.7 vs. 42.6 ± 17.3 sec, P = 0.001), NCT-B (85.7 ± 40.1 vs. 90.2 ± 37.0 sec, P = 0.18), DST (23.5 ± 9.3 vs. 23.0 ± 8.7, P = 0.45), LTT (96.6 ± 48.2 vs. 96.8 ± 46.8 sec, P = 0.92), SDT (88.0 ± 39.5 vs. 83.4 ± 37.2 sec, P = 0.02)] at baseline and after four hours. Target accuracy of ICT was lower in patients with cirrhosis compared with controls (88.4 ± 5.6 vs. 95.6 ± 2.1, P = 0.01), whereas ICT lures were higher (18.3 ± 4.2 vs 10.2 ± 2.8, P = 0.01). Patients with cirrhosis showed a reduction in lures in the second evaluation compared with the first (18.3 ± 4.2 vs. 17.1 ± 4.3, P = 0.003) but no change in target accuracy (88.4 ± 5.6 vs. 88.4 ± 5.3, P = 0.97). Control subjects did not show any change either in lures (10.2 ± 2.8 vs. 10.3 ± 2.1, P = 0.65) or target accuracy (95.6 ± 2.1 vs. 95.5 ± 2.2, P = 0.82). The sensitivity and specificity of ICT test for the diagnosis of MHE at lure rate >16.5 was 88.5 and 56%, respectively. CFF in patients with MHE (38.4 ± 1.8 vs. 38.6 ± 1.5, P = 0.3) and non MHE (40.6 ± 2.2 vs. 40.8 ± 2.2, P = 0.6) did not show any difference after four hours as in controls (41.9 ± 2.4 vs. 42.1 ± 2.0, P = 0.3). Thirty one (31%) patients preferred psychometric tests, 57 (57%) preferred CFF and only 12 (12%) preferred ICT ( P = 0.001). Conclusions: ICT, CFF, and psychometric tests are useful tools to assess MHE, and CFF was preferred by this study cohort.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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