JianPi HuaZhuo XingNao formula (Chinese herbal medicine) for the treatment of minimal hepatic encephalopathy: a protocol for a randomized, placebo-controlled pilot trial

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Background:Minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) is a subclinical state of hepatic encephalopathy with the possibility of developing into overt hepatic encephalopathy (OHE) and having adverse outcomes. However, no preventative medicine for MHE has been recommended so far. The aim is to evaluate the therapeutic effect of the JianPi HuaZhuo XingNao formula (JPHZXN) on MHE, specifically whether JPHZXN decreases OHE occurrence, through a randomized controlled trial.Method:Seventy-two patients with MHE are enrolled and allocated in a 1:1 ratio in an experimental group and a control group. JPHZXN granules and placebos are dispatched to the experimental group and control group, respectively, for 24 weeks. The primary outcome is the incidence of developing OHE. The secondary outcomes are the patients’ performances in number connection test A and the digital sign test as well as results from the health survey and chronic liver disease questionnaire.Results:This study will provide proof regarding the therapeutic effect of JPHZXN among patients with MHE.Conclusion:The outcomes could grant clinicians an alternative choice when treating potentially progressive patients with MHE.

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