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Korean J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jan;47(1):44-51. Korean. English Abstract.
Kim HK , Oh HJ , Nam SW , Choi JY , Cho SH , Yoon SK , Han JY , Yang JM , Han NI , Ahn BM , Choi SW , Kim JK , Lee YS , Chung KW , Sun HS .
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Protein-calorie malnutrition is a common complication in cirrhosis. Protein restriction for the treatment of hepatic encephalopathy (HE) may cause disease progression and poor prognosis. Therefore, we evaluated important clinical parameters for nutritional state in cirrhotic patients with or without HE to predict the development of HE. METHODS: Twenty-two cirrhotic patients were divided into two groups; group A-13 patients without HE and group B-9 patients with HE. Clinical and biochemical parameters, serum proteins {serum albumin, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), transferrin, leptin, etc}, immunologic parameters and anthropometry were measured. RESULTS: Child-Pugh score and Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) scale were higher in group B (p<0.01). After correction of various factors affecting nutritional assessment, especially of Child-Pugh score and MELD scale, leptin was higher in group B (p<0.05). There was no difference in anthropometric measurements. Transferrin correlated inversely with MELD scale in group A (p<0.01). IGF-1 correlated inversely with total lymphocyte count in group B (p<0.05). Leptin correlated with Child-Pugh scores, total lymphocyte count and mid-arm muscle cirumference in group A (p<0.05, p<0.05 and p<0.05, respectively), and correlated inversely with CD8 in group B (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Leptin level is higher in patients with HE, and further studies for parameters of nutrition to predict HE in many cirrhotic patients will be needed.

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