Definition: coma or its precursors resulting from a diffuse abnormality of cerebral neuronal or glial cell metabolism. Primary metabolic encephalopathy is due to any of the degenerative cerebral disorders that culminate in coma; secondary metabolic encephalopathy results when brain metabolism is disturbed by extracerebral disorders causing intoxication, electrolyte imbalances, or nutritional deficiencies, hepatic or renal disease or exogenous poisons.
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