Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a common complication of advanced liver disease which has profound implications in terms of the patients' ability to fulfil their family and social roles, to drive and to provide for themselves. Recurrent and persistent HE is still a serious management challenge, translating into a significant burden for patients and their families, health services and society at large. The past few years have been characterized by significantly more attention towards HE and its implications; its definition has been refined and a small number of new drugs/alternative management strategies have become available, while others are underway. In this narrative review we summarize them in a pragmatic and hopefully useful fashion.
Keywords: ammonia; cirrhosis; portal-systemic shunt; vigilance.