1Department of Medical Imaging, Jinling Hospital, Medical School of Nanjing University, 305 Zhongshan East Road, Xuanwu District, Nangjing, Jiangsu Province, 210002, China.
Neurological or psychiatric abnormalities associated with hepatic encephalopathy (HE) range from subclinical findings to coma. HE is commonly accompanied with the accumulation of toxic substances in bloodstream. The toxicity effect of hyperammonemia on astrocyte, such as the alteration in neurotransmission, oxidative stress, astrocyte swelling, is considered as an important factor in the pathogenesis of HE. Besides, neuroinflammation has captured more attention in the process of HE, but the mechanism of neuroinflammation leading to HE remains unclear. Molecular imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) targeting activated microglia and/ or other mediators appear to be promising noninvasive approaches to assess HE. This review focuses on novel imaging and therapy strategies of neuroinflammation in HE.