Previous observations on immune dysfunction in decompensated cirrhosis have raised the possibility of B-cell impairment. B-cell subsets in decompensated cirrhotic patients were investigated. Twenty-six decompensated cirrhotic patients and 26 healthy controls were included in this study. The percentages of B-cell subsets, such as mature, memory, immature B cells, and interleukin (IL)-10+-B-cell subpopulations, were measured using fluorescent activated cell sorting. B-cell-associated cytokines (IL-10, IL-21 and IL-4) were determined using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The percentage of total B cells and mature B cells increased in patients with decompensated cirrhosis compared to healthy controls. The proportions of memory B cells were significantly lower in the decompensated cirrhosis group than the control group. However, the frequency of immature B cells and the percentage of IL-10-expressing cells that were CD19+, memory, mature, or immature B cells were not significantly different between the two groups. Serum levels of IL-10, IL-21, and IL-4 were significantly lower in the decompensated cirrhosis group compared to the control group. These results indicate significant alterations in peripheral blood B-cell subsets in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Specifically, a profound reduction of memory B cells was observed in spite of an increase in total B-cell populations in decompensated cirrhotic patients. This implies the underlying mechanisms of impaired immune response in these patients.