Sara Montagnese,Francesco Paolo Russo, Piero Amodio, Patrizia Burra, Antonio Gasbarrini, Carmela Loguercio, Giulio Marchesini, Manuela Merli, Francesca Romana Ponziani, Oliviero Riggio, Carmelo Scarpignato
Digestive and Liver Disease
Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a common, worrisome and sometimes difficult to manage complication of end-stage liver disease. HE is often recurrent, requiring multiple hospital admissions. It can have serious implications in terms of a patient’s ability to perform complex tasks (for example driving), their earning capacity, their social and family roles. This guideline reviews current knowledge on HE definition, pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment, both by general principles and by way of a summary of available drugs and treatment strategies. The quality of the published, pertinent evidence is graded, and practical recommendations are made. Where possible, these are placed within the Italian health service context, with reference to local diagnosis and management experience.