Brief Reports

Adherence to Recommended Inpatient Hepatic Encephalopathy Workup

Abstract

Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is characterized by altered sensorium and is the most common indication for hospitalization among patients with cirrhosis. Liver societal guidelines for inpatient HE revolve around identification of potential precipitants. In this retrospective study, we aimed to determine adherence to societal guidelines for evaluation of HE in 78 inpatients. The adherence rate to societal recommended guidelines for workup of HE was low, with only 17 (22%) patients having complete diagnostic workup within 24 hours of admission. Notably, 23 (30%) patients were not subjected to blood culture analysis, 16 (21%) were missing urinalysis, and 15 (20%) were missing chest radiograph. In patients with ascites (N = 34), 26 (77%) did not have a diagnostic paracentesis to exclude spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. In contrast, serum ammonia determination, a laboratory test not endorsed by societal guidelines for workup of HE, was ordered in 74 (95%) patients. These findings underscore the limited adherence to societal guidelines in hospitalized patients with HE.

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