Background/objectives: Minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE), though highly prevalent, is a frequently underdiagnosed complication of cirrhosis of the liver. Because lack of time is reported as the major reason for non-testing, identifying patients at high risk of MHE would help in targeting them for screening. We aimed to determine the factors associated with MHE to help identify patient subgroups with a higher risk of MHE for targeted screening. Methods: Patients with cirrhosis of liver presenting between April 2015 and November 2016 were included. Those with a Psychometric Hepatic Encephalopathy Score (PHES) of ≤-5 points on psychometric testing were diagnosed to have MHE. Various demographic, clinical and laboratory parameters were included in a univariate and later multiple logistic regression models. Results: Of the 180 (male = 166, 92.2%) patients included 94 (52.2%) had MHE. Though serum albumin, serum total bilirubin, serum aspartate aminotransferase, international normalized ration, Child-Turcotte-Pugh and Model-For-End-Stage-Liver-Disease scores were significant on univariate analysis, only CTP score was found to be significantly associated with MHE (P = 0.002) on multivariate analysis. A higher CTP class was associated with a higher risk of the presence of MHE. The Odds ratio for having MHE was higher with CTP classes of B (P ≤. 0.001) and C (P ≤. 0.001) compared to class A. Conclusions: MHE is a common complication in patients with cirrhosis of liver and higher CTP scores independently predict the presence of MHE. Patients with CTP class B and C have a higher risk of suffering from MHE than CTP class A. Screening of patients in CTP class B and C is likely to increase the MHE detection rates while saving time, although select CTP class A patients may also need screening in view of public safety or poor quality of life.
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