Neuropathy in hepatic disorders
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The present study deals with 30 patients with cirrhosis of the liver and 12 patients with infective hepatitis who were studied clinically, neurophysiologically and histopathologically for the presence of neuropathy. Simultaneously, 13 healthy individuals were evaluated as controls. Clinical evidence of neuropathy was found in 63.3% of the patients with hepatic cirrhosis and in 16.6% of the patients with infective hepatitis. In hepatic cirrhosis, the conduction velocities were abnormal in 33.3% and histopathological demyelination was found in 80% of the patients. In infective hepatitis, on the other hand, altered nerve conduction velocities were found in 41.6% and segmental demyelination in 75% of the patients. Our data reveal that peripheral nerve involvement is seen both in chronic and acute liver disorders. The neuropathy in hepatic cirrhosis is unrelated to diabetes, alchoholism or portacaval shunt and may be due to unknown metabolic abnormality or to toxins. In infective hepatitis, the neuropathy may either be due to some acute metabolic derangement or may be purely viral in origin.
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