1 Department of Medicine, University of Montreal, 45143 Cabot Trail, Englishtown, NS, B0C 1H0, Canada.
2 Liver Intensive Therapy Unit, Institute of Liver Sciences, School of Immunology and Microbial Sciences, Kings College London, London, UK. email@example.com.
This manuscript represents an appraisal of the evidence in support of L-ornithine-L-aspartate (LOLA) for the management and treatment of hepatic encephalopathy (HE) in cirrhosis. Meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted over the last two decades generally reveal evidence of benefit of LOLA in a range of clinical presentations. This included improvement of mental state grade in overt HE (OHE) assessed by West Haven criteria as well as in minimal HE (MHE) assessed by psychometric testing where the oral formulation of LOLA was determined to be particularly effective. However, concerns over study quality were noted in one meta-analysis. Nevertheless, the concomitant lowering of fasting blood ammonia was reported in all RCTs using this endpoint. Network meta-analyses showed that LOLA appears to be comparable (or superior) in efficacy to non-absorbable disaccharides or probiotics. Emerging evidence from single RCTs show efficacy of LOLA for the treatment of post-transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPSS) HE as well as for secondary HE prophylaxis. These findings provide support for the use of LOLA in the treatment of HE and future trials should focus on the use of LOLA for prophylaxis.