Prevalence of minimal hepatic encephalopathy among patients with chronic liver disease in Ilorin, Nigeria
Background: Minimal Hepatic encephalopathy is the mildest form of Hepatic Encephalopathy which presents with significant cognitive impairment and affectation of activities of daily living. The literature is scanty on the prevalence of minimal hepatic encephalopathy in Nigerians with chronic liver disease.
Aim: This study aimed at determining the prevalence of minimal hepatic encephalopathy among patients with chronic
liver disease using neuro-psychometric tests.
Methods: The study was a hospital-based cross-sectional study carried out at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin from February 2015 to February 2016. Chronic liver disease was diagnosed with the presence of peripheral stigmata of liver disease, liver biochemistry, prothrombin time, and sonographic findings in keeping with liver disease. Minimal hepatic encephalopathy was diagnosed using number connection tests-A and B for patients who were educated while Line tracing test and constructional dyspraxia were used for patients without any formal education. Data obtained were analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 computer software package.
Results: Sixty-four patients with chronic liver disease were recruited. The mean age (SD) of the patients was 47.1±14.6 yrs, and the 30-39 and 40-49 yrs age groups each had the highest frequency of 21(32.8%). There were 54(84.4%) males and 10 (15.6%) females. The prevalence of Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy was 43.8%.
Conclusion: The prevalence of Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy in this study was similar to previous studies. Significant number of patients with minimal HE were in Child-Pugh class B and C.
Keywords: Minimal, Hepatic Encephalopathy, Liver Disease, Neuro-psychometric test