1Division of Gastroenterology, MetroHealth Medical Center/Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The main issue with treating covert hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is to establish whether it is cost effective to reverse the neuropsychiatric abnormalities that define this mild form of HE. Until fairly recently, covert HE was rarely diagnosed, but advances in computerized psychometric testing have greatly simplified its detection. The many consequences of covert HE are now being identified, and most have been shown to be reversible with standard HE treatment. Perhaps the most enticing possibility will be the potential that standard HE therapies will postpone the onset of overt HE. This will require further evaluation with large placebo-controlled randomized trials.