Liver Unit, Hospital Vall Hebron, Barcelona, Spain, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liver transplantation (LT) candidates experience frequently episodic or persistent hepatic encephalopathy. In addition, these patients can exhibit neurological comorbidities that contribute to cognitive impairment in the pre-transplant period. Assessment of the respective contribution of hepatic encephalopathy or comorbidities in the cognitive manifestations is critical to estimate the neurological benefits of restoring liver function. Magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy are useful to assess the impact of liver failure or comorbidities. This assessment is critical to decide liver transplant in difficult cases. In the early postoperative period, LT is commonly complicated by a confusional syndrome. The possible role of persisting hepatic encephalopathy in its development has not been clearly established. The origin is usually considered multifactorial and relates to complications following LT, such as infections, rejection, primary liver dysfunction, immunosuppressors, etc.… The diagnosis and treatment is based in the recognition of comorbidities and optimal care of metabolic disturbances. Several studies have demonstrated recovery of cognitive function after LT in patients that have exhibited hepatic encephalopathy. However, some deficits may persist specifically among patients with persistent HE. Other factors present before LT that contribute to a worse neuropsychological outcome after LT are diabetes mellitus and alcohol consumption. Long-term after LT, cognitive function may worsen in relation to vascular risk factors.