The Journal of ECT

Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2001 - Volume 17 - Issue 3 > ECT in the Treatment of Status Epilepticus
Journal of ECT:
Case Reports

ECT in the Treatment of Status Epilepticus

Lisanby, Sarah H. M.D.*†; Bazil, Carl W. M.D., Ph.D.‡; Resor, Stanley R. M.D.‡; Nobler, Mitchell S. M.D.*†; Finck, Donald A. M.D.§; Sackeim, Harold A. Ph.D.*†∥

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Introduction: Owing to its potent anticonvulsant actions, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has been proposed as an intervention for treatment-resistant seizure disorders.

Method: We review the literature on the use of ECT in treatment-resistant epilepsy and status epilepticus (SE) and present a case of a patient who was in nonconvulsive SE for 26 days and then treated with ECT after all standard pharmacological strategies were exhausted. Because of skull defects, a novel electrode placement was used.

Results: Owing to massively elevated seizure threshold attributable to concomitant anticonvulsant medications, extraordinarily high electrical dosage was needed for ECT to elicit generalized seizures. Status was terminated after three successful ECT-induced seizures. However, the long-term functional outcome of the patient was poor.

Discussion: The role of ECT in the treatment algorithm for SE is discussed.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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