Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a severe and frequent complication of liver cirrhosis characterized by abnormal cerebral function. Little is known about the underlying neural mechanisms in HE and human data are sparse. Electrophysiological methods such as evoked brain potentials after somatic stimuli can be combined with inverse modeling of the underlying brain activity. Thereby, information on neuronal dynamics and brain activity can be studied in vivo. The aim of this study was to investigate the sensory brain processing in patients with HE.
Twelve patients with minimal or overt HE and 26 healthy volunteers were included in the study. Cerebral sensory processing was investigated as (i) an auditory reaction time task; (ii) visual and somatosensory evoked brain potentials, and (iii) reconstruction of the underlying brain activity.
Somatosensory evoked potentials were reproducible (all P>0.05), whereas flash evoked potentials were not reproducible (all P
Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a disabling disease characterised by abdominal pain, and various pancreatic and extra-pancreatic complications. We investigated the interactions between pain characteristics (i.e. pain severity and its pattern in time), complications, and quality of life (QOL) in patients with CP.
This was a cross-sectional study of 106 patients with CP conducted at two North European tertiary medical centres. Detailed information on clinical patient characteristics was obtained from interviews and through review of the individual patient records. Pain severity scores and pain pattern time profiles were extracted from the modified brief pain inventory short form and correlated to QOL as assessed by the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire. Interactions with exocrine and endocrine pancreatic insufficiency, as well as pancreatic and extra-pancreatic complications were analysed using regression models.
Pain was the most prominent symptom in our cohort and its severity was significantly correlated with EORTC global health status (r = -0.46; P