Document Type





OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of L-ornithine-L-aspartate (LOLA) as an adjuvant therapy in cirrhotic patients with hepatic encephalopathy (HE).

STUDY DESIGN: Randomized placebo controlled study.

PLACE AND DURATION OF STUDY: The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi in the year 2003-2004.

METHODOLOGY: Patients with HE were randomized to receive LOLA or placebo medicine as an adjuvant to treatment of HE. Number connection test-A (NCT-A), ammonia level, clinical grade of HE and duration of hospitalization were assessed.

RESULTS: Out of 120 patients, there were 62 males with mean age of 57 11 years. Improvement in HE was higher (n=40, 66.7%) in LOLA group as compared to the placebo group (n=28, 46.7%, p=0.027). In patients with grade I or less encephalopathy, improvement was seen in 6 (35.3%) and 3 (20%) patients in LOLA and placebo groups respectively (p=0.667). Patients with HE grade II and above showed improvement in 34 (79.1%) and 25 (55.6%) cases in LOLA and placebo group respectively (p=0.019). On multivariate analysis patients with HE of grade II and above showed prothrombin time, creatinine level and use of LOLA influencing the outcome. Duration of hospitalization was 93.6 25.7 hours and 135.2 103.5 hours in LOLA and placebo groups respectively (p=0.025). No side effects were observed in either groups.

CONCLUSION: In cirrhotic patients with advanced hepatic encephalopathy treatment with LOLA was safe and associated with relatively rapid improvement and shorter hospital stay.


Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan