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Journal of ECT:
doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e3181b00f5b
Case Report

Severe Bradycardia After Anesthesia Before Electroconvulsive Therapy

Birkenhäger, Tom K. MD, PhD*; Pluijms, Esther M. MD*; Groenland, Theo H. MD†; van den Broek, Walter W. MD, PhD*

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Abstract

Postanesthesia bradycardia or asystole before electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) occurs very infrequently but is a potentially fatal complication of pre-ECT anesthesia. The optimal strategy for the prevention of its recurrence is unclear because the use of premedication with atropine may not always be successful. In this article, we present the case of a 21-year-old man with schizophrenia who developed bradycardia directly after receiving succinylcholine during the first 3 ECT sessions. Replacing succinylcholine with mivacurium seemed to be a successful strategy in preventing bradycardia during the final 9 ECT sessions.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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