What is the initial treatment of encephalopathy in patients with cirrhosis?

Updated: Jul 30, 2018
  • Author: David C Wolf, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FAASLD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Nonhepatic causes of altered mental function must be excluded in patients with cirrhosis who have worsening mental function. A check of the blood ammonia level may be helpful in such patients. Medications that depress central nervous system (CNS) function, especially benzodiazepines, should be avoided. Precipitants of hepatic encephalopathy should be corrected (eg, hypovolemia, metabolic disturbances, GI bleeding, infection, constipation).


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