Cognitive impairment is common among patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD). This study examined cognitive dysfunction in patients with ESLD using the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS).


66 patients with ESLD awaiting liver transplant were recruited. Patients were evaluated with the RBANS, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised, and Beck Depression Inventory-II.


Patients with ESLD uniformly performed below expectations on all RBANS index scores compared to the healthy normative sample (all p's<.0001) and they also displayed a “subcortical” pattern of cognitive performance (p<.0001). Performances on RBANS attention, language, immediate memory, and total index scores were correlated with education and ethnicity (r's range=|.32–.57|; p's<.01). There was no association between performance on any of the RBANS index scores or subtests and ESLD patient characteristics. In summary, the RBANS appears to adequately characterize known patterns of cognitive dysfunction in ESLD patients.