Liver international : official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver

Cerebral haemodynamics in cirrhotic patients with hepatic encephalopathy.

PMID 24690075


Factors other than elevated levels of ammonia may be implicated in hepatic encephalopathy (HE) pathophysiology, including abnormal cerebral haemodynamics. Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography (TCD) evaluates cerebrovascular structural integrity and reactivity, through pulsatility index (PI) and breath-holding index (BHI) respectively. The aim of this study was to evaluate cerebral haemodynamics by TCD in patients with compensated and decompensated cirrhosis, and patients with and without HE. We studied 90 subjects by TCD measuring PI and BHI in the middle cerebral artery: 30 with cirrhosis and no HE, 30 with cirrhosis and low-grade HE and 30 healthy subjects. Critical flicker frequency, psychometric hepatic encephalopathy score and West-Haven criteria were performed to assess MHE and HE respectively. Pulsatility index increased in decompensated cirrhotics (Childxa0≥xa07) when compared with compensated cirrhotics and healthy subjects [median (IQR) 1.07 (0.95-1.21) vs 0.90 (0.83-1.05) vs 0.87 (0.78-0.96); Pxa0