Source Department of Medicine and Surgery, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, "Alma Mater Studiorum" University of Bologna, Via Massarenti 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy.
The impact of overt hepatic encephalopathy on health-related quality of life is well defined, but it remains to be demonstrated how much the presence of minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) might impair patients' perceived health status. MHE reduces cognitive abilities, with specific impairment in manual abilities, which can lead to a depressed mood that impairs perceived health status. Therefore, all subjects with cirrhosis should be systematically screened for MHE by validated tools. Early detection and treatment is mandatory to improve the quality of life of patients with advanced cirrhosis, their social isolation, and their daily lives.