Friday, September 30, 2011

Lactulose's use in Hepatic encephalopathy

What is Hepatic encephalopathy?

Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a brain disorder caused by chronic liver failure, particularly in alcoholics with cirrhosis, which results in cognitive, psychiatric, and motor impairments. In these patients, the number of functional liver cells is reduced, and some blood is diverted around the liver before toxins are removed. As a result, toxins such as ammonia and manganese can accumulate in the blood and enter the brain, where they can damage nerve cells and supporting cells called astrocytes. 

Role of lactulose

Lactulose may be given to prevent intestinal bacteria from creating ammonia, and as a laxative to remove blood from the intestines.

- source: Hepatic encephalopathy: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

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