The normal ammonia range is 10–47 μmol/L.
High ammonia levels and signs of hepatic encephalopathy is a worsening of brain function that occurs when the liver is no longer able to remove toxic substances in the blood due to cirrhosis.
Symptoms may be mild at first. Family members or caregivers may notice that the patient has:
* Breath with a musty or sweet odor
* Change in sleep patterns
* Changes in thinking
* Confusion that is mild,
* Mental fogginess
* Personality or mood changes
* Poor concentration
* Poor judgment
* Worsening of handwriting or loss of other small hand movements
More severe symptoms may include:
* Abnormal movements or shaking of hands or arms
* Agitation, excitement, or seizures (occur rarely)
* Drowsiness or confusion
* Inappropriate behavior or severe personality changes
* Slurred speech
* Slowed or sluggish movement
Patients with hepatic encephalopathy can become unconscious, unresponsive, and possibly enter a coma.
Does this mean a person has chronic hep c. No.
There are many causes of cirrhosis. Chronic hep c is only one cause although it is the leading cause of liver cirrhosis and the need for a liver transplant in the U.S.
Blood tests are used to determine if a person has chronic hep c.
The first step in screening for HCV is to test blood for the antibody to HCV . If the test is negative (does not find the antibody), the patient is assumed to be free of HCV.
Testing for RNA is useful in determining whether or not a patient has circulating virus in the blood. It can be used to confirm that a positive ELISA truly reflects active hepatitis C virus infection.