Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) represents a continuum of transient and reversible neurologic and psychiatric dysfunction. It is a reversible state of impaired cognitive function or altered consciousness in patients with liver disease or portosystemic shunting. Over the last several years, high-quality studies have been conducted on various pharmacologic therapies for HE; as more data emerge, it is hoped that HE will become a more easily treated complication of decompensated liver disease. In the interim, it is important that physicians continue to screen for minimal HE and treat patients early in addition to continuing to provide current treatments of overt HE. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.