Source Division of Hepatology, Department of Transplantation, California Pacific Medical Center, 2340 Clay Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.
Although hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is prevalent in the cirrhotic population, it has also been considered a potentially reversible condition. Liver transplantation represents the ultimate reversal of the decompensated cirrhotic state and should provide the best option for the reversibility of HE. However, the neurologic compromise associated with HE in the cirrhotic patient may not be completely reversible. Theories regarding fixed structural and reversible metabolic deficits as well as persistence of the hyperdynamic state with continued portosystemic shunting have been proposed to explain this lack of complete reversibility. Whether this remnant neurologic deficit is clinically significant remains unclear.