What Is Hepatic Encephalopathy?

Q:
What is hepatic encephalopathy?

A:
Hepatic encephalopathy is a syndrome mostly occurs in patients with cirrhosis. A failing liver cannot remove toxins from the blood, so they eventually accumulate in the brain. The buildup of toxins in the brain will result in hepatic encephalopathy. This condition can decrease mental function and cause stupor and even coma. Here are its symptoms:

Moderate Symptoms

  • difficulty thinking
  • personality changes
  • poor concentration
  • problems with handwriting or loss of other small-hand movements
  • confusion
  • forgetfulness
  • poor judgment
  • a musty or sweet breath odor

Severe Symptoms

  • confusion
  • drowsiness or lethargy
  • anxiety
  • seizures
  • severe personality changes
  • fatigue
  • confused speech
  • shaky hands
  • slow movements

Many of the symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy are reversible when promptly detected and treated. Please go to the emergency room or call 911 right away if you develop symptoms of severe hepatic encephalopathy. These symptoms can lead to a coma if they’re not treated quickly.

Keywords: hepatic encephalopathy; hepatic encephalopathy symptoms

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.