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.
Project description:Machine learning-based approaches play an important role in examining functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data in a multivariate manner and extracting features predictive of group membership. This study was performed to assess the potential for measuring brain intrinsic activity to identify minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) in cirrhotic patients, using the support vector machine (SVM) method. Resting-state fMRI data were acquired in 16 cirrhotic patients with MHE and 19 cirrhotic patients without MHE. The regional homogeneity (ReHo) method was used to investigate the local synchrony of intrinsic brain activity. Psychometric Hepatic Encephalopathy Score (PHES) was used to define MHE condition. SVM-classifier was then applied using leave-one-out cross-validation, to determine the discriminative ReHo-map for MHE. The discrimination map highlights a set of regions, including the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insular cortex, inferior parietal lobule, precentral and postcentral gyri, superior and medial temporal cortices, and middle and inferior occipital gyri. The optimized discriminative model showed total accuracy of 82.9% and sensitivity of 81.3%. Our results suggested that a combination of the SVM approach and brain intrinsic activity measurement could be helpful for detection of MHE in cirrhotic patients.
Project description:AIM:To evaluate the reversibility of minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) following liver transplantation (LT) in Egyptian cirrhotic patients. METHODS:This prospective study included twenty patients with biopsy-proven liver cirrhosis listed for LT and twenty age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects. All underwent neuro-psychiatric examination, laboratory investigations, radiological studies and psychometric tests including trail making test A (TMT A), TMT B, digit symbol test and serial dotting test. The psychometric hepatic encephalopathy score (PHES) was calculated for patients to diagnose MHE. Psychometric tests were repeated six months following LT in the cirrhotic patient group. RESULTS:Before LT, psychometric tests showed highly significant deficits in cirrhotic patients in comparison to controls (P < 0.001). There was a statistically significant improvement in test values in the patient group after LT; however, their values were still significantly worse than those of the controls (P < 0.001). The PHES detected MHE in 16 patients (80%) before LT with a median value of -7 ± 3.5. The median PHES value was significantly improved following LT, reaching -4.5 ± 5 (P < 0.001), and the number of patients with MHE decreased to 11 (55%). The pre-transplant model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score ? 15 was significantly related to the presence of post-transplant MHE (P = 0.005). More patients in whom reversal of MHE was observed had a pre-transplant MELD score < 15. CONCLUSION:Reversal of MHE in cirrhotic patients could be achieved by LT, especially in those with a MELD score < 15.
Project description:The purposes of this study are to explore functional alterations in salience network (SN) and its functional coupling with default mode (DMN) and central executive (CEN) networks in minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE). Twenty cirrhotic patients with MHE, 23 cirrhotic patients without MHE (NHE), and 18 controls underwent resting-state fMRI and psychometric hepatic encephalopathy score (PHES) test. Independent component analysis was performed to obtain DMN (including three subsystems: anterior, inferior-posterior, and superior-posterior DMN [a/ip/spDMN]), SN, and CEN (including three subsystems: left-ventral, right-ventral, and dorsal CEN [lv/rv/dCEN]). The intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) within (intra-iFC) and between (inter-iFC and time-lagged inter-iFC) networks was measured. MHE patients showed decreased intra-iFC within aDMN, SN, lvCEN, and rvCEN; and decreased inter-iFC and time-lagged inter-iFC between SN and ipDMN/spDMN/lvCEN and increased inter-iFC and time-lagged inter-iFC between SN and aDMN, compared with controls. A progressive trend in connectivity alterations was found as the disease developed from NHE to MHE. The inter-iFC between ipDMN/spDMN and SN was significantly correlated with PHES score. In conclusion, an aberrant SN and its functional interaction with the DMN/CEN are core features of MHE that are associated with disease progression and may play an important role in neurocognitive dysfunction in MHE.
Project description:To measure changes in psychometric state, neural activation, brain volume (BV), and cerebral metabolite concentrations during treatment of minimal hepatic encephalopathy.As proof of principle, 22 patients with well-compensated, biopsy-proven cirrhosis of differing etiology and previous minimal hepatic encephalopathy were treated with oral l-ornithine l-aspartate for 4 weeks. Baseline and 4-week clinical review, blood chemistry, and psychometric evaluation (Psychometric Hepatic Encephalopathy Score and Cognitive Drug Research Score) were performed. Whole-brain volumetric and functional MRI was conducted using a highly simplistic visuomotor task, together with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the basal ganglia. Treatment-related changes in regional BV and neural activation change (blood oxygenation level dependent) were assessed.Although there was no change in clinical, biochemical state, basal ganglia magnetic resonance spectroscopy, or in regional BV, there were significant improvements in Cognitive Drug Research Score (+1.2, p = 0.003) and Psychometric Hepatic Encephalopathy Score (+1.5, p = 0.003) with treatment. This cognitive amelioration was accompanied by changes in blood oxygenation level-dependent activation in the posterior cingulate and ventral medial prefrontal cortex, 2 regions that form part of the brain's structural and metabolic core. In addition, there was evidence of greater visual cortex activation.These structurally interconnected regions all showed increased function after successful encephalopathy treatment. Because no regional change in BV was observed, this implies that mechanisms unrelated to astrocyte volume regulation were involved in the significant improvement in cognitive performance.
Project description:Patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related cirrhosis (HBV-RC) and minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) exhibit alterations in homotopic inter-hemispheric functional connectivity (FC) and corpus callosum (CC) degeneration. However, the progression of inter-hemispheric dysconnectivity in cirrhotic patients from no MHE (NMHE) to MHE and its association with the progression of diseased-related cognitive impairment remain uncharacterized. We hypothesized that inter-hemispheric dysconnectivity exists in NMHE patients and further deteriorates at the MHE stage, which is associated with performance measured by psychometric hepatic encephalopathy scores (PHES) that can characterize cirrhotic patients with NMHE and MHE. Using inter-hemispheric homotopic FC and CC (and its subfields) volumetric measurements in 31 patients with HBV-RC (17 with NMHE and 14 with MHE) and 37 healthy controls, we verified that MHE patients had significant attenuated inter-hemispheric homotopic FC in the bilateral cuneus, post-central gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, and superior temporal gyms, as well as CC degeneration in total CC, CC2, CC3, and CC4 (each comparison had a corrected P < 0.05). In contrast, NMHE patients had relatively less severe inter-hemispheric homotopic FC and no CC degeneration. In addition, the degeneration of the CC and inter-hemispheric homotopic functional disconnections correlated with poor PHES performances in all cirrhotic patients (NMHE and MHE). Furthermore, impairment of inter-hemispheric homotopic FC partially mediated the association between CC degeneration and worse PHES performance. Notably, a combination of inter-hemispheric homotopic FC and CC volumes had higher discriminative values according to the area under the curve (AUC) score (AUC = 0.908, P < 0.001) to classify patients into MHE or NMHE groups when compared with either alone. Our findings shed light on the progression of inter-hemispheric dysconnectivity in relation to the progression of disease-related cognitive impairment in patients with HBV-RC.
Project description:Type-C hepatic encephalopathy is a complex neurological syndrome, characteristic of patients with liver disease, causing a wide and complex spectrum of nonspecific neurological and psychiatric manifestations, ranging from a subclinical entity, minimal hepatic encephalopathy, to a deep form in which a complete alteration of consciousness can be observed: overt hepatic encephalopathy. Overt hepatic encephalopathy occurs in 30-40% of patients. According to the time course, hepatic encephalopathy is subdivided into episodic, recurrent and persistent. Diagnostic strategies range from simple clinical scales to more complex psychometric and neurophysiological tools. Therapeutic options may vary between episodic hepatic encephalopathy, in which it is important to define and treat the precipitating factor and hepatic encephalopathy and secondary prophylaxis, where the standard of care is non-absorbable disaccharides and rifaximin. Grey areas and future needs remain the therapeutic approach to minimal hepatic encephalopathy and issues in the design of therapeutic studies for hepatic encephalopathy.
Project description:Minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) is associated with changes in functional connectivity. To investigate the patterns of modular changes of the functional connectivity in the progression of MHE, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was acquired in 24 MHE patients, 31 cirrhotic patients without minimal hepatic encephalopathy (non-HE), and 38 healthy controls. Newman's metric, the modularity Q value, was maximized and compared in three groups. Topological roles with the progression of MHE were illustrated by intra- and intermodular connectivity changes. Results showed that the Q value of MHE patients was significantly lower than that of controls (P < 0.01) rather than that of non-HE patients (P > 0.05), which was correlated with neuropsychological test scores rather than the ammonia level and Child-Pugh score. Less intrasubcortical connections and more isolated subcortical modules were found with the progression of MHE. The non-HE patients had the same numbers of connect nodes as controls and had more hubs compared with MHE patients and healthy controls. Our findings supported that both intra- and intermodular connectivity, especially those related to subcortical regions, were continuously impaired in cirrhotic patients. The adjustments of hubs and connector nodes in non-HE patients could be a compensation for the decreased modularity in their functional connectivity networks.
Project description:Background and Aim:Variceal bleeding is the second most important precipitating factor related to the development of episodic hepatic encephalopathy; but to date there are no recommendations to prevent this complication. The aim of this study was to compare if primary prophylaxis with lactulose or L-ornithine L-aspartate or rifaximin, in cirrhotic patients with variceal bleeding, is better than placebo for avoiding the development of hepatic encephalopathy. Methods:A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02158182) which included cirrhotic patients with variceal bleeding, without minimal or clinical hepatic encephalopathy at admission. Findings:87 patients were randomized to one of four groups. The basal characteristics were similar between groups. Comparatively with placebo, the frequency with regard to the development of hepatic encephalopathy was as follows: lactulose (54.5% versus 27.3%; OR = 0.3, 95% CI 0.09-1.0; P = 0.06); L-ornithine L-aspartate (54.5% versus 22.7%, OR = 0.2, 95% CI 0.06-0.88; P = 0.03); rifaximin (54.5% versus 23.8%; OR = 0.3, 95% CI 0.07-0.9; P = 0.04). There was no significant difference between the three groups receiving any antiammonium drug (P = 0.94). In the group receiving lactulose, 59.1% had diarrhea, and 45.5% had abdominal discomfort, bloating, and flatulence. Two patients (10%) treated with lactulose and a patient (4.5%) in the placebo group developed spontaneous bacterial peritonitis due to E. coli; one of them died due to recurrent variceal bleeding. There were no other adverse effects. Conclusions:Antiammonium drugs, particularly L-ornithine L-aspartate and rifaximin, proved to be effective in preventing the development of hepatic encephalopathy in those cirrhotic patients with variceal bleeding.
Project description:<b>Purpose:</b> Whole-brain functional network analysis is an emerging methodology for exploring the mechanisms underlying hepatic encephalopathy (HE). This study aimed to identify the brain subnetwork that is significantly altered within the functional connectome in minimal HE (MHE), the earliest stage of HE. <b>Materials and Methods:</b> The study enrolled 19 cirrhotic patients with MHE and 19 controls who underwent the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and cognitive assessment based on the Psychometric Hepatic Encephalopathy Score (PHES). A whole-brain functional connectivity (FC) matrix was calculated for each subject. Then, network-based statistical analyses of the functional connectome were used to perform group comparisons, and correlation analyses were conducted to identify the relationships between FC alterations and cognitive performance. <b>Results:</b> MHE patients showed significant reduction of positive FC within a subnetwork that predominantly involved the regions of the default-mode network, such as the bilateral posterior cingulate gyrus, bilateral medial prefrontal cortex, bilateral hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus, bilateral angular gyrus, and left lateral temporal cortex. Meanwhile, MHE patients showed significant reduction of negative FC between default-mode network regions (such as the bilateral posterior cingulate gyrus, medial prefrontal cortex, and angular gyrus) and the regions involved in the somatosensory network (i.e., bilateral precentral and postcentral gyri) and the language network (i.e., the bilateral Rolandic operculum). The correlations of FC within the default-mode subnetwork and PHES results were noted. <b>Conclusion:</b> Default-mode network dysfunction may be one of the core issues in the pathophysiology of MHE. Our findings support the notion that HE is a neurological disease related to intrinsic brain network disruption.
Project description:Cirrhosis is associated with a systemic proinflammatory milieu, endotoxemia, and gut dysbiosis. The oral cavity could be an additional source of inflammation. We aimed to determine the effect of periodontal therapy in cirrhosis through evaluating endotoxemia, inflammation, cognition, and quality of life (QOL). Age-matched cirrhotic and noncirrhotic subjects exhibiting chronic gingivitis and/or mild or moderate periodontitis underwent periodontal therapy with follow-up at 30 days. Saliva/stool for microbial composition and serum for Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) score, endotoxin and lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP) and immune-inflammatory markers (IL-1?; IL-6; histatins 1, 3, 5; and lysozyme) were collected at baseline and day 30. The cognitive function and QOL were also evaluated similarly. A separate group of cirrhotic patients were followed for the same duration without periodontal therapy. Cirrhotics, especially those with hepatic encephalopathy (HE), demonstrated improved dysbiosis in stool and saliva, and improved endotoxin, LBP, and salivary and serum inflammatory mediators following periodontal therapy. These parameters, which were higher in HE at baseline, became statistically similar posttherapy. Pretherapy vs. posttherapy QOL and cognition also improved in HE patients following oral interventions. On the other hand, LBP and endotoxin increased over time in cirrhotic patients not receiving therapy, but the rest of the parameters, including microbiota remained similar over time in the no-therapy group. This proof-of-concept study demonstrates that periodontal therapy in cirrhosis, especially in those with HE, is associated with improved oral and gut dysbiosis, systemic inflammation, MELD score, and cognitive function, which was not observed in those who did not receive therapy over the same time period. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Systematic periodontal therapy in cirrhotic outpatients improved endotoxemia, as well as systemic and local inflammation, and modulated salivary and stool microbial dysbiosis over 30 days. This was associated with improved quality of life and cognition in patients with prior hepatic encephalopathy. In a cirrhotic group that was not provided periodontal therapy, there was an increase in endotoxin and lipopolysaccharide binding protein in the same duration. The oral cavity could be an important underdefined source of inflammation in cirrhosis.