1 Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, 7 South Pavilion, 3400 Civic Center Boulevard, HUP, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
2 Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 2 Dulles, 3400 Spruce Street, HUP, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. Electronic address: Rajender.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research increasingly shows that the gut-liver-brain axis is a crucial component in the pathophysiology of hepatic encephalopathy (HE). Due to the limitations of current standard-of-care medications, non-pharmacological treatments that target gut dysbiosis, including probiotics, nutritional management, and fecal microbiota transplants, are being considered as alternative and adjunct therapies. Meta-analyses note that probiotics could offer benefits in HE treatment, but have not shown superiority over lactulose. Emerging literature suggests that fecal microbiota transplants could offer a novel strategy to treat gut dysbiosis and favorably impact HE. Finally, liver support devices and liver transplantation could offer a last-resort treatment option for persistent HE.