Severe recurrent hepatic encephalopathy that responded to oral branched chain amino acids

N. Chalasani, Norman Gitlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Hepatic encephalopathy is a neuropsychiatric syndrome occurring in patients with acute or chronic liver disease. Its pathogenesis remains unclear; however, it appears to be multifactorial. There are several conventional treatments for this condition, such as lactulose, neomycin, and protein restriction. There is significant controversy regarding the role of branched chain amino acids in the treatment of chronic hepatic encephalopathy. We describe a patient who had hepatic encephalopathy secondary to Budd-Chairi syndrome and a mesoatrial shunt that failed vigorous conventional therapy. She required multiple hospitalizations for severe recurrent encephalopathy. The patient was considered for a colonic exclusion procedure for the management of intractable encephalopathy. However, branched amino acid therapy was instituted as a last measure before the contemplated surgery, and the patient's encephalopathy responded in dramatic fashion, and she remained free from encephalopathy during a prolonged follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1266-1268
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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