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Zhonghua Gan Zang Bing Za Zhi. 2013 May;21(5):385-8. doi: 10.3760/cma.j.issn.1007-3418.2013.05.017.

[Ornithine aspartate and naloxone combined therapy for hepatic encephalopathy affects cognitive function, prognosis, and neuropeptide levels].

[Article in Chinese]

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Department of Health Statistics, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China.



To investigate the potential effects on cognitive function, prognosis, and neuropeptide levels of patients in response to combination therapy with ornithine aspartate plus naloxone for hepatic encephalopathy.


Eighty-four consecutive patients diagnosed with hepatic encephalopathy were randomly divided into two equal groups. The control group (n = 42) received traditional medical treatment, and the research group (n = 42) received the traditional medical treatment as well as the combination therapy with ornithine aspartate plus naloxone. The supplemental treatment was comprised of daily intravenous injection of 10-15 g ornithine aspartate in 250 ml of 5% glucose plus intravenous drip of 3 mg naloxone in 100 ml of 5% glucose, and was given in 7-day cycles for one or two cycles. The cognitive function of patients was assessed by Hasegawa Intelligence Scale (HDS) and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) questionnaires. The effective rate and time duration from coma to consciousness were recorded. Changes in blood ammonia level, markers of liver function, and neuropeptide levels were measured by standard biochemical assays. Intergroup differences were assessed by the Chi-squared test.


The HDS and MMSE scores of the research group were significantly higher than those of the control group after therapy. The effective rate, time duration from coma to consciousness, blood ammonia, the liver function markers alanine aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase and total bilirubin, and the neuropeptides arginine vasopressin and beta-endorphin were remarkably improved after treatment in the research group, as compared with that in the control group.


Supplementing the traditional treatment for hepatic encephalopathy with ornithine aspartate plus naloxone combination therapy provides better therapeutic outcome than traditional treatment alone.

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