Criteria for Grading Hepatic Encephalopathy

Grading of hepatic encephalopathy categorizes it in clinical stages of stepwise worsening. The description of each grade varies somewhat in the literature, but differences between adjacent grades are clear enough to be helpful in clinical practice, although neurologic descriptors are sparse. One study showed that for patients who become comatose, the Full Outline of Unresponsiveness (FOUR) score is more discriminating than the West Haven grading system because it includes brain-stem and respiration assessment, which are not further differentiated in the West Haven system.

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FOUR Score for Comatose Patients

 Eye response

4 = eyelids open or opened, tracking, or blinking to command

3 = eyelids open but not tracking

2 = eyelids closed but open to loud voice

1 = eyelids closed but open to pain

0 = eyelids remain closed with pain

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