[Electroconvulsive therapy and aortic aneurysm: apropos of a case].

L'Encephale

PubMedID: 8674473

Attar-Levy D, Fidelle G, Brochier P, Van Steenbruge L, Lôo H. [Electroconvulsive therapy and aortic aneurysm: apropos of a case]. Encephale. 1996;21(6):473-6.
The adverse effects of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) become rare due to the increased progress specially in avoiding cardiovascular side effects. In fact, several studies report ECT treatment performed with success and without side effects, in depressive patients presenting serious cardiovascular diseases (aortic anevrysm, cerebral venous angioma, cerebral infarct, aortic dissection...). Occurrence of cardiovascular complications can be prevented if an elevation of blood pressure or an arythmia occurring during the seizure are previously and correctly detected and managed. Hence an adequate anaesthetic premedication must be implemented. Usual protocols use atropine, hydralazine and hydro-chlorothiazide. However, ECT treatment should be avoided in patients requiring urgent surgical correction of their cardiovascular abnormalities. Also, patients and families must be informed on the benefit derived from ECT treatment and reassured on the therapeutic issue when ECT treatment is correctly managed. This case report concerns an 89 year old woman presenting a melancholic depressive state complicated with an aortic anevrysm, successfully treated with ECT.