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Journal of ECT:
doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e31821d3911
Original Studies

The Safety of Electroconvulsive Therapy in Patients With Prolonged QTc Intervals on the Electrocardiogram

Pullen, Samuel J. DO*; Rasmussen, Keith G. MD*; Angstman, Elizabeth R. BS†; Rivera, Fernando MD‡; Mueller, Paul S. MD‡

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Abstract

Background: Prolonged QTc intervals have been associated with increased cardiac morbidity and mortality. We investigated whether pretreatment prolongation of the QTc interval was associated with increased cardiac-related events (CREs) in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatment of psychiatric disorders.

Methods: The charts of 1437 ECT patients were reviewed for the presence of baseline QTc prolongation. Broadly defined CREs during the course of treatment were abstracted from patient charts.

Results: Presence of baseline QTc prolongation was not independent of increased risk of CREs during ECT.

Implications: Careful consideration should be given to patients who have QTc prolongation on an electrocardiogram and are undergoing ECT treatment, but this should not definitively exclude patients from receiving ECT treatment.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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