© 2013, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Brain alterations such as hepatic encephalopathy or brain edema are usually associated with liver failure. The mechanisms that lead to the generation of edema seem to be different depending on the course of liver failure (acute, chronic or acute-on-chronic liver failure). Several neuroimaging methods allow a non-invasive assessment of brain alterations in liver failure. Magnetic resonance has gained more interest due to the ability of giving information about cerebral metabolism using spectroscopy, water distribution by diffusion methods or neuronal connectivity by means of resting state magnetic resonance. These techniques have been applied to experimental models and patients with liver failure to elucidate cerebral pathways involved in the pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy. In the future, the development of new magnetic resonance implementations will generate handy tools for the study of the brain and get better understanding of the mechanisms that take place in liver failure. This could be useful for the early diagnosis, as well as for the design of new treatments for cerebral complications of liver failure.
- Acute liver failure
- Acute-on-chronic liver failure
- Chronic liver failure
- Magnetic resonance