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Induction agents in electroconvulsive therapy: a comparison of methohexitone and propofol

  • Allan Scott (a1) and Harold Boddy (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

To compare methohexitone and propofol in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). A retrospective within-subject comparison was made of the use of these drugs in separate courses of bilateral ECT in one clinic over 10 years. Patients taking mood stabilising or anti-epileptic drugs were excluded. The initial seizure threshold and seizure duration were of particular interest.

Results

The median initial seizure thresholds were identical (75 mC). The median initial seizure duration with threshold stimulation was 25% shorter with propofol (21v.28 s). The median total numbers of treatments in the courses were identical (eight treatments).

Clinical Implications

The shorter seizure duration observed with propofol was not associated with a commensurate rise in the initial seizure threshold. The shorter seizure duration may therefore have no effect on the therapeutic efficacy of treatment.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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American Psychiatric Association (2001) The Practice of Electroconvulsive Therapy: Recommendations for Treatment, Training, and Privileging (2nd edn). Washington, DC: APA.
Dykes, S. & Scott, A. I. F. (1998) Seizure threshold in bilateral electroconvulsive therapy. Psychiatric Bulletin, 22, 298299.
Martin, B. A., Cooper, R. N. & Parikh, S.V. (1998) Propofol anaesthesia, seizure duration and ECT: a case report and literature review. Journal of ECT, 14, 99108.
Scott, A. I. F. (1989) Which depressed patients will respond to electroconvulsive therapy? British Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 817
Scott, A. I. F. & Boddy, H. (2000) The effect of repeated bilateral ECTon the seizure threshold. Journal of ECT, 16, 244251.
Special Committee Onect (1995) The ECT Handbook. London: Gaskell.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Induction agents in electroconvulsive therapy: a comparison of methohexitone and propofol

  • Allan Scott (a1) and Harold Boddy (a2)
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