Hyperammonemia in the ICU

Alison S. Clay, Bryan E. Hainline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Patients experiencing acute elevations of ammonia present to the ICU with encephalopathy, which may progress quickly to cerebral herniation. Patient survival requires immediate treatment of intracerebral hypertension and the reduction of ammonia levels. When hyperammonemia is not thought to be the result of liver failure, treatment for an occult disorder of metabolism must begin prior to the confirmation of an etiology. This article reviews ammonia metabolism, the effects of ammonia on the brain, the causes of hyperammonemia, and the diagnosis of inborn errors of metabolism in adult patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1368-1378
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Adult
  • Ammonia
  • Hyperammonemia
  • Inborn error of metabolism
  • Total parenteral nutrition
  • Urea cycle disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Hyperammonemia in the ICU'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this