Updates on the pathophysiology and therapeutic targets for hepatic encephalopathy
PURPOSE OF REVIEW:
Hepatic encephalopathy is one of the most debilitating clinical manifestations of cirrhosis and associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Treatment modalities available include the nonabsorbable disaccharides (lactulose) and the nonabsorbable antibiotics (rifaximin).
Newer therapeutic targets under evaluation include ammonia scavengers (ornithine phenylacetate) and modulation of gut microbiota (fecal microbiota transplantation).
This review will focus on the pathophysiology of hepatic encephalopathy along with an update on therapeutic targets under investigation.