Diagnostic procedure to identify patients with Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy

Developed by: INCLIVA Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria


Between 33-50% of cirrhotic patients without clinical symptoms  of  HE  show  chronic  Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy (MHE) (more than 2,000,000 in the European Union), with mild cognitive impairment and motor alterations, which can be unveiled using neuropsychometric or neurophysiological tests.

MHE increases the probability of suffering driving, home and working accidents, predicts the appearance of clinical HE and reduces the quality of life and life span. MHE is therefore an important clinical, social and economical problem.

Early diagnosis and treatment of MHE would improve the quality of lite and life span of the patients and prevent the progression of the neurological impairment.

Currently, the gold standard for diagnosis of MHE in patients is the Psychometric Hepatic Encephalopathy Score (PHES), a battery of 5 psychometric tests. However , the PHES results must be corrected by age and educational leve!, is time-consuming and is not routinely performed in most Hospitals services. As a consequence, MHE is not routinely diagnosed in most clinical settings due to lack of simple procedures and most patients with MHE remain undiagnosed and untreated.

This new peripheral biomarker (metabolite) allows diagnosing the presence of Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy in patients with liver cirrhosis and can be measured in blood.


Non-invasive, fast and thorough in vitro diagnostic method with 89% of sensitivity, 93% of specificity and a ROC curve with an AUC value of 0.96 (95% CI: 0.93-0.99).

Estado de protección

Patent granted in United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Desired cooperation

Pharmaceutical and biotech companies focused on diagnostics and/or hepatic and liver diseases.


INCLIVA Innovation Unit

uai(ELIMINAR)@incliva.es Phone: +34 961973535 Fax: +34 963987860

Health technology:
Biotecnología y Diagnóstico Molecular (proteómica, genómica, etc...)