Background: The severity of hepatic encephalopathy is currently graded clinically using West Haven criteria and psychometric tests.
Objective: To assess the discriminative power of the bispectral index (BIS) monitor to classify the degree and progression of hepatic encephalopathy.
Design: A consecutive, multicentre, observer blinded validation study.
Setting: Medical University of Graz (Graz, Austria), Zhejiang University First Affiliated Hospital (Hang Zhou, China), and Cairo University (Cairo, Egypt).
Patients: 28 consecutive patients with hepatic encephalopathy were first enrolled at Medical University of Graz as a test set. The estimated BIS cut off values were subsequently tested in a validation set of 31 patients at Zhejiang University First Affiliated Hospital and 26 patients at Cairo University; 18 patients were reassessed later in a longitudinal study. Fifteen of 85 patients (18%) were excluded from the final analysis (11 became too agitated with high electromyographic activity; four fell asleep during the recording).
Results: Applying the Austrian BIS cut off values of 85, 70, and 55 for discriminating West Haven grades 1 to 4 yielded agreement between BIS classification and West Haven grades in 40 of the 46 validation patients (87%), and in 16 of the 18 follow up patients (89%). Mean (SD) BIS values differed significantly between patients with West Haven grade 1 (90.2 (2.5)), grade 2 (78.4 (6.6)), grade 3 (63.2 (4.8)), and grade 4 (45.4 (5.0)).
Conclusions: BIS is a useful measure for grading and monitoring the degree of involvement of the central nervous system in patients with chronic liver disease.
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Competing interests: None declared
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