Atypical neuroimaging findings in patients with acquired hepatocerebral degeneration

  • Xiaoyu Dong
  • Jianfei NaoEmail author
Original Article



Acquired hepatocerebral degeneration (AHD) is now widely recognized by physicians. Although hyperintensity in the bilateral globus pallidus in T1-weighted magnetic resonance images (MRIs) are characteristic neuroimaging findings, accumulating reports indicate that atypical neuroimaging findings are not rare. This study aimed to describe the spectrum of atypical neuroimaging findings and related factors in patients with AHD.


From February 2017 to January 2019, a retrospective study was conducted of 28 patients with AHD in the Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University. The neurological manifestations, clinical parameters, and biochemical and neuroimaging findings were analyzed.


Among 28 patients, 14 patients were diagnosed with viral hepatitis-caused hepatocirrhosis, which was the most common cause of AHD. Resting tremor, cognitive impairment, and parkinsonian gait were the most common neurologic symptoms. Bilateral globus pallidus T1-weighted hyperintensity was detected in 26 patients (26/28, 92.9%). Ten patients (10/28, 35.7%) were determined to have an atypical neuroimaging finding. Binary logistic regression analysis indicated that age at onset of neurologic symptoms (odds ratio = 1.29, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03–1.61; p = 0.030) and Child–Pugh scores (odds ratio = 2.52, 95% CI, 1.01–6.31; p = 0.048) were independently associated with atypical neuroimaging findings in AHD.


The clinical manifestations of AHD are diverse; resting tremor, cognitive impairment, and parkinsonian gait were the most common. More than one third of patients had atypical neuroimaging findings. Age at onset of neurologic symptoms and Child–Pugh scores may be important predictors of atypical neuroimaging findings in patients with AHD.


Acquired hepatocerebral degeneration Magnetic resonance imaging Neurologic symptoms Child–Pugh scores 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study, informed consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Fondazione Società Italiana di Neurologia 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyShengjing Hospital of China Medical UniversityShenyangPeople’s Republic of China

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