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Detecting minimal hepatic encephalopathy in an endemic country for hepatitis B: the role of psychometrics and serum IL-6.


ABSTRACT: It remains unknown what the prevalence of minimal hepatic encephalopathy is in Taiwan, a highly endemic country for chronic viral hepatitis infection. It is also unclear whether abnormal serum cytokine levels can be indicative of the presence of minimal hepatic encephalopathy. We aimed to standardize the tests of psychometric hepatic encephalopathy score and predictive value of proinflammatory cytokines in minimal hepatic encephalopathy in Taiwan.180 healthy subjects and 94 cirrhotic patients without a history of overt hepatic encephalopathy from a tertiary center were invited to participate in this cross-sectional study. Blood sampling for determination of serum levels of interleukin 6 and 18 and tumor necrosis factor-α was performed. Based on the normogram of psychometric hepatic encephalopathy score from healthy volunteers, patients with minimal hepatic encephalopathy were identified from the cirrhotic patients using the criterion of a psychometric hepatic encephalopathy score less than -4.In the healthy subjects, age and education were predictors of subtests of psychometric hepatic encephalopathy score. Minimal hepatic encephalopathy was identified in 27 (29%) cirrhotic patients. Serum interleukin 6 level (OR = 6.50, 95% CI = 1.64-25.76, P = 0.008) was predictive of the presence of minimal hepatic encephalopathy after multivariate analysis.The psychometric hepatic encephalopathy score can be a useful tool for detecting patients with minimal hepatic encephalopathy in Taiwan and around one third of cirrhotic outpatients fulfill this diagnosis. A high serum interleukin 6 level is predictive of the presence of minimal hepatic encephalopathy.

SUBMITTER: Tsai CF 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4454579 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): 10.1371/journal.pone.0128437

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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