32 Patients with MHE also had impaired navigation skills.33 Navigation, required for safe driving, is a complex process that depends on functioning working memory, attention, and speed of mental processing; impairment in navigation skills correlated with impairment in response inhibition and attention. Although some data are available for HE, the economic burden associated with MHE has not been assessed.1 In the USA in 2003, estimated total charges for hospitalizations related to HE were over $US930m. Total charges for unspecified encephalopathy, portal hypertension, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic KPT-330 in vivo cirrhosis were approximately
Angiogenesis chemical $US268m, $US90m and $US3.3bn, respectively.1 The impact of MHE on daily life is enormous; half of the patients with MHE do not have regular employment, compared to 15% of patients without MHE.14 Blue-collar workers with liver cirrhosis and MHE are less likely to earn their wages than white-collar workers with MHE; 60% of ‘blue collar’ workers were unfit to work compared with 20% of ‘white collar’ workers.24 Diminished work performance and lost wages also entail substantial costs.
Socioeconomic implications of the profound negative effects of MHE on functioning in the workplace are significant. 9 MHE adversely affects HRQOL. (1b) The diagnosis of MHE rests on: (i) the presence of a disease that can cause MHE, such as, cirrhosis and/or the presence of a portal-systemic shunt (Table 1); (ii) normal mental status on clinical examination; (iii) demonstration of abnormalities of cognition and/or neurophysiological variables; and (iv) exclusion of concomitant neurological disorders. HE is traditionally classified into four grades
according to the West Haven criteria (Table 2).1,2 However, assignment of patients with cirrhosis to HE stages PAK5 0–2 relies strongly on the subjective impression of a physician, which does not invalidate the scale in individual cases, but may cause discrepancies between different observers and affect the results of multicenter trials. Reliability of the West Haven scale can be improved by combining it with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).34 The MMSE assesses mental status systematically and thoroughly in only 5–10 min. It is an 11-question measure that tests five areas of cognitive function: orientation, registration, attention and calculation, recall and language.34 The maximum score on MMSE is 30; a score of 23 or lower is indicative of cognitive impairment and clinically overt HE. All high-quality studies on MHE included MMSE as a screening test before administering diagnostic tests for MHE.3,21,22,31–33 13 HE should be graded according to West Haven criteria.