- 11Department of Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298-0341 USA.
- 22Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Department of Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University and McGuire VA Medical Center, 1201 Broad Rock Boulevard, Richmond, VA USA.
Free PMC article
Purpose of review: Liver transplantation (LT) remains the only way to cure patients with severe liver diseases. Important questions about neurological sequelae and quality of life after LT have emerged. In this review, we discuss the neurocognitive changes associated with LT and we conclude with recommendations in this regard for patients, caregivers, and physicians.
Recent findings: Compared with other solid organ recipients, LT patients tend to have a higher incidence (up to 30%) of neurological complications post-LT. Even in absence of previous episodes of hepatic encephalopathy (HE), some patients display new onset of neurological symptoms post-LT, raising the concern about the role of other factors that may have a direct impact on cognitive function.
Summary: Different mechanisms have been postulated to explain these postoperative neurological symptoms. They include sequelae of HE, persistent impairment of cognitive function due to cirrhosis, or postoperative decompensation of an unknown or undiagnosed neurodegenerative disorder.