Cirrhosis is a chronic, progressive disease of the liver characterized by diffuse degeneration and destruction of hepatocytes. The serum ammonia level assesses the ability of the liver to deaminate protein byproducts. Normal reference interval is 10 to 80 mcg/dL (6 to 47 mcmol/L). Most of the ammonia in the body is found in the gastrointestinal tract. Protein provided by the diet is transported to the liver by the portal vein. The liver breaks down protein, which results in the formation of ammonia. Foods high in protein should be avoided since the client’s ammonia level is elevated above the normal range; therefore, pasta with sauce would be the best selection.