Association of Serum Ammonia Levels with Severity of Grades of Hepatic Encephalopathy in Patients Presenting to er of a Tertiary Care Hospital
Objective: To determine the association of serum Ammonia levels with severity of grades of hepatic encephalopathy in patients presenting to the department.
Study Design: Comparative cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Emergency Department, Pak Emirates Military Hospital Rawalpindi Pakistan, from Dec 2020 to May 2021.
Methodology: This study was conducted on 100 patients presenting with hepatic encephalopathy at the emergency department of our hospital. Based on clinical findings and relevant investigations, a consultant gastroenterologist or emergency medicine physician diagnosed hepatic encephalopathy or the underlying cause. In addition, serum Ammonia levels were done on all the patients at the time of presentation and associated with grades of hepatic encephalopathy and other factors.
Results: Out of 100 patients included in the final analysis, 67 were males, and 33 were females. Infection (29%) was the commonest aetiology of hepatic encephalopathy, followed by Constipation (23%). In addition, 59% had normal serum ammonia levels, while 41% had raised ammonia levels in their serum. High grade of hepatic encephalopathy and raised Child-Turcotte-Pugh score were statistically significantly associated with raised ammonia levels in our study participants.
Conclusion: Raised serum ammonia levels were a common finding among patients with hepatic encephalopathy. Therefore, patients with a high grade of hepatic encephalopathy and a high Child-Turcotte-Pugh score at the time of presentation should be considered at a higher risk of having hyperammonemia.