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Hepatic encephalopathy - Definition


Hepatic encephalopathy is the set of neurological symptoms that occur as side effects of liver disorders. There is no brain injury in this encephalopathy and the onset of symptoms is due to the impact of liver disease. It occurs most frequently in the context of the progression of chronic cirrhosis of the liver, mainly following a long alcoholic intoxication. Hepatic encephalopathy is initially characterized by changes in the circadian rhythm, meaning the rhythm of sleeping and waking during the day, and asterixis appearing as abnormal movements of the wrists. It then progresses to disorders of consciousness and behavior, confusion which can lead to a stage of coma.