The monoethylglycinexylidide test does not impair psychometric performance in patients with chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis

Federica Botta, Edoardo Giannini, Alberto Fasoli, Paola Romagnoli, Domenico Risso, Roberto Testa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lidocaine (LID) is an aminoethylamide used in hepatology to perform the monoethylglycinexylidide (MEGX) test for the evaluation of liver function in patients with cirrhosis (CIR) or chronic hepatitis (CH). The authors evaluated whether the MEGX test changes psychometric performance in patients with chronic liver disease and, in particular, whether it might trigger subclinical portosystemic encephalopathy in patients with CIR. Thirty patients with CIR and 20 patients with CH were studied. They underwent a standard-dose MEGX test, before and after which a psychometric test was administered and blood pressure, heart rate, and adverse effects were recorded. The MEGX test did not modify psychometric performance. Mean arterial blood pressure and heart rate did not change at the end of the MEGX test in either patients with CH or CIR. Adverse effects were present in 66% of all patients during lidocaine injection and lasted up to 3 minutes afterwards. They were more frequent in patients with CH than in patients with CIR (85% vs 53%). No relationship was found between adverse effects and lidocaine dosage, nor between adverse effects and MEGX or lidocaine concentration at 15 minutes. Standard-dose MEGX test does not worsen or trigger portosystemic encephalopathy in CIR. Adverse effects were frequent but mild.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-374
Number of pages4
JournalTherapeutic Drug Monitoring
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Chronic liver disease
  • MEGX test
  • Portosystemic encephalopathy
  • Psychometric test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology


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